KARACHI: Presenting a ‘charge sheet’ against the Pakistan Peoples Party government in Sindh, the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has said that during its over 15-year rule in the province, the PPP governments have received a total of Rs12.633 trillion in budgets, yet there has been no development in Sindh and the people are still lacking basic amenities in the province.

Speaking a press conference, PTI-Sindh president Haleem Adil Sheikh alleged that corruption amounting to Rs1.650tr had been recorded through various sources over the past 15 years, including over Rs850bn corruption in the developmental budget.

He proposed that Rs500bn should be set aside for Karachi’s mega projects in the Sindh budget.

He said the Sindh government’s domestic and foreign debt had reached Rs1,341bn with a 26 per cent increase during 2023-24 and an addition of Rs325bn in new loans.

Haleem says despair in the province is proof of ‘PPP corruption’; demands Rs500bn for Karachi uplift

Mr Sheikh criticised the state of Sindh’s forests, which have been destroyed, with 2.8 million acres under encroachment, and no projects to plant trees.

“While the world is saving forests, the Sindh government is cutting them down,” he added.

Regarding education, Mr Sheikh said that Rs1,920bn had been allocated over 15 years, with Rs454bn allocated for 2024-25. Despite this, six million children were still out of school, with no books or uniforms, and over 12,000 schools were closed.

More than 26,000 schools lack drinking water, 19,000 schools have no toilets, 31,000 schools are without electricity, 21,900 schools lack boundary walls, 36,000 schools have no playgrounds, and 47,000 schools have no laboratories, he said.

He also pointed out the issue of ghost teachers and schools turned into cattle pens or guest houses.

Scholarships for deserving children and free textbook distribution have been marred by corruption, he said.

Sindh education standards are the worst in Pakistan while the education department is embroiled in a Rs3bn scandal involving school desk.

He said from 2008 to 2024, education department projects remain incomplete, including Education City, boarding school schemes, cadet school projects, public school projects, engineering colleges, divisional level girls’ public schools, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Law College in Lyari, Aseefa Bhutto Institute of Electronics, Mirpurkhas and Hala medical colleges, and many more.

Despite an increase in the number of teachers and budgets, educational standards have not improved.

Digital libraries in 48 colleges, transport facilities in rural colleges, and census scheme for private schools and madressahs remain incomplete.

In healthcare, Mr Sheikh pointed said Rs1,144bn had been allocated over the past 15 years, with Rs300bn for 2024-2025.

Yet, hospitals lack ambulances and medicines, functioning more as referral centres, he said.

“There are no burn wards outside Karachi, AIDS cases rising, dog bite incidents without anti-rabies vaccines, and a non-functional health care commission. Quack doctors are rampant, health cards are not issued, and bills passed by the Sindh Assembly remain unenforced. The plan of 41 trauma centres in province since 2013 still remains unfulfilled.”

Mr Sheikh also highlighted the shortage of doctors in government hospitals, with many handed over to NGOs like PPHI, IHC, MERF, and HANDS.

Upgradation projects for hospitals are inactive, and political transfers and postings plague the health department, he added.

“Hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and HIV cases are rising in Larkana, with 60 children dead from AIDS. Corruption is rampant in NICVD, with the private sector running 600-800 ambulances in Karachi while government hospitals lack such services,” the PTI leader claimed.

Regarding law and order, Mr Sheikh noted that Rs1,260bn had been spent over 15 years, with Rs172bn allocated for 2024-2025. Yet, street crime persists in Karachi, with over scores of citizens had been killed during robberies this year. The police are politicised, and public safety has been compromised.

In local governance, Rs1,162bn has been spent with no improvement in roads, sanitation, or drainage system.

Karachi is plagued by garbage, polluted water, stray dogs, and tanker mafia.

No new mega project has been included in 2024-2025 budget for Karachi, which contributes 95 per cent of Sindh’s budget but still neglected by both federal and provincial governments.

Mr Sheikh criticised the industrial sector’s downfall with large number of industrial projects remained inactive from 2008 to 2024.

Projects like Mineral City, Agri-Industrial City, and China City have not started, and plans for Dairy Village, Ghotki Industrial Estate, and others remain incomplete.

He proposed a 50pc salary increase for government employees, activation of industrial zones, modern facilities in schools, issuance of health cards, subsidies for farmers, ensuring agricultural water supply, modern transport facilities, computerised revenue records to reduce corruption, equal job opportunities for rural and urban youth, non-political housing for flood victims, merit-based employment, and depoliticising police and ending the police station culture.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2024

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