KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Wednesday decided to issue within six months Kissan Cards to farmers benefiting from various government schemes like subsidies, loans and insurance.

The decision to this effect was taken at the provincial cabinet meeting held with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in chair and attended among others by provincial ministers and concerned officials.

The cabinet agreed that a farmer possessing up to 12 acres of land and cultivating it him/herself would qualify for the Kissan Card for which a survey and registration work would be started within a week so that the cards could be issued within six months.

According to a statement, the chief minister told the cabinet that the Kissan Card holders would be given preference in the procurement of wheat and held in case of natural disasters.

Cards to be issued within six months; approves Rs521m for fuel indexation of Peoples Bus Service

He said that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had given clear instructions for the issuance of Kissan Cards and preparing a plan to carry out development initiatives in every district. “I want to constitute a committee to implement the election manifesto of the party so that all the 10 points as announced by the chairman can be implemented in true letter and spirit,” he added.

The chief minister also constituted a committee with the irrigation minister, senior member Board of Revenue SMBR, and secretary of agriculture to start developing data and submit their recommendations.

He said that Kissan Cards would be issued to farmers benefiting from various government programmes, adding that it aimed at consolidating the recipient’s information for transparent and efficient implementation of these interventions.

Mr Shah said that the provincial government would develop a digital platform and provide all district administrations with user logins to enter details of farmers in their jurisdictions.

He said that the information added to the system would pertain to demographics, contact details, crops and landholding patterns, livestock, irrigation system and mechanisation.

The chief minister said that the initiative would result in an appropriate allocation of schemes to the right farmers, ease in broadcasting messages to the larger masses and the creation of a centralised database.

Fund for Peoples Bus Service

The cabinet also approved Rs521 million for fuel indexation of intra-district Peoples Bus Service (PBS) and Rs.5.027m grant for JS Academy.

Senior Minister Sharjeel Memon briefing the cabinet said that the project to supply and operate along with maintenance of the Sindh Intra-District People’s Bus Service was awarded to National Radio Transit Authority (NRDC) in October 2021 for a term of 12 years – up to Oct 2033.

He said that the NRTC had supplied 250 buses. Of them, 230 are operational and an additional 40 buses were added to the fleet, apart from bringing the remaining 30 buses of the initial lot of 250.

Sharjeel told the cabinet that the project was a G2G initiative between the provincial government and NRTC, adding that it was the first ever intra-city public transport project operating mixed traffic, particularly in Karachi and other cities such as Larkana, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

He added that the transport department was responsible for the provision of depots, routes, land spaces for bus stations free of all encumbrances, provision of utilities at depots and bus stations, and payment of busses including taxes and duties.

The NRTC is responsible for the procurement, operation, and maintenance of buses and the construction and upgradation of depots and bus stations.

He said that the NRTC had requested the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA) for the release of payment of fuel indexations from January to June 24. As per practice, the independent expert(s) third-party consultants were assigned to determine, analyse and forecast the fuel indexation.

The minister said that independent expert(s) submitted the forecasted budget of Rs820.996m for the period Jan to June, 2024.

He said that the fuel indexation payments were actualised every month under the contract after due validation by the IE and SMTA.

The minister added that to ensure smooth operations of the PBS, Rs820. 996 million were required from Jan-Jun 2024.

He said that Rs300m, already kept in the account as grant-in aid for fuel indexation (one time) during the current financial year 2023-24, may be released and the remaining amount of Rs521 million may be released for the project to cover fuel indexation for the period Jan-Jun 2024. The cabinet approved the amount of Rs521m for the purpose.

Grant for JS Academy

The CM was told that the JS Academy provided empowerment initiatives and free of cost education from early child education to postgraduate level to deaf students.

The academy had a shortfall of Rs10.747m per annum, the cabinet was told, and it was requested to approve Rs.5.027m grant-in aid for JS Academy as a six-month shortfall of the current financial year 2023-24. The cabinet approved the grant.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

THE massacre of innocents continues in the killing fields of Gaza, as most of the world looks away. Moreover, many ...
Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...