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KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs4.021 billion for compensation to be paid to the rain-affected people of the province and requested the federal government to match the grant/compensation so that the affected people could be rehabilitated in a better manner. The cabinet also approved exemption of the small traders and growers from provincial taxes to compensate them for the losses they had suffered due to the heavy rains this year.

The meeting was attended by all the provincial ministers. The cabinet was told that under the law, compensation to the heirs of a person who died in a natural calamity had been fixed at Rs100,000 for the breadwinner and Rs50,000 for non-breadwinner. The cabinet said that Rs100,000 be paid to the heirs of every person who died during the heavy rains in the province this year whether the deceased happened to be a breadwinner or not.

The cabinet also approved Rs25,000 compensation for the injured and an equal amount for damaged Pukka house, Rs10,000 for damaged Katcha house, Rs10,000 for large cattle lost and Rs5,000 for small cattle. The cabinet felt that the total amount of compensation (Rs4.021 billion) to be paid to the affected people was insufficient for rehabilitation of the poor people.

The cabinet, therefore, requested the chief minister to write a letter to the prime minister to request him to match the compensation amount so that every affected person could get double the amount to get themselves rehabilitated. The cabinet also approved relief for the small traders and growers who had suffered losses during the heavy rains by exempting them from paying the provincial taxes.

The provincial government would also request the federal government to give exemption from its taxes to the rain-affected small traders. STAMP DUTY EXEMPTION: The cabinet on the request of the Pak-Oman Investment Company Ltd approved exemption of stamp duty amounting to Rs53.8 million on transfer of their shares.

The cabinet, however, observed that when the agreement had been signed by the federal government and the government of Oman, the provincial government was not taken into confidence on the clauses of the agreement/exemptions. The provincial cabinet, nevertheless, honouring the federal government's agreement with the government of Oman, approved exemption of stamp duty, but it simultaneously requested the federal government to reimburse the Sindh government for the amount of Rs53.8 million.

SAFE CITY PROJECT: The cabinet allowed the Home Department to sign an MOU with the NRTC for installation of 10,000 cameras in the city under the Safe City project. MAGISTERIAL POWERS: The cabinet on a proposal from the Home Department granted special magisterial powers to revenue officers. The cabinet directed the Home Department to coordinate with the high court for its consent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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