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Pakistan

Overseas Pakistanis should come to their constituencies in Pakistan to vote: CM Murad

  • Murad Ali Shah criticises the federal government for bulldozing the controversial electoral reforms bill that allows overseas Pakistanis right to vote
22 Nov, 2021

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Thursday that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was not against giving the right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis, but demanded that the Pakistanis living abroad should come to their constituencies to cast their vote.

“The families living abroad from the last many years and have become national there and don't know the ground reality of the country have been given the right to vote from abroad is against the principles of democracy," he said while addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting at the CM House earlier today.

He criticised the federal government for bulldozing the controversial electoral reforms regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from the joint session of parliament on Wednesday.

Shah said that the federal government has failed to operate the electronic Vote Count system installed in the national assembly and they are not going to be able to operate EVMs in the next general election.

He said that in the last general election, the Result Transmission System (RTS) had failed and various election results had become controversial, adding that now the PTI government has embarked upon another "fishy" EVM system.

"The PTI believes that the overseas Pakistanis have no idea how much bad governance it has given to the nation, how much inflation it has caused in the country and how it has destabilized important institutions, therefore they would give them vote to power,” he said.

He also criticised the federal government for changing the existing rules for the posting and transfer of PAS and PSP employees. “It is a wrong impression that the PAS and PSP are the employees of the federal government but, as a matter of fact, they are the employees of the federation and the federal government, under the law, is bound to have a meaningful discussion with the chief minister before transfers or posting any officer from the province,” he said.

The chief minister said that the federal government has withdrawn the services of four grade BS-20 PAS and seven PSP officers from Sindh and in their place sent back to Sindh four PAS and eight PSP officers under its rotation policy.

Quoting Civil Service of Pakistan (Composition and Cadre) Rules 1954, as amended time, the chief minister said Rule-15(i) read as “The transfer of an officer belonging to the Service from the Province to another or from the Federation to a Province or from a Province to the Federation shall be made by Prime Minister or a person authorized by him in consultation with the Chief Minister or a person authorized by him [CM].”

Shah said that against 26 sanctioned posts of PSP officers of Grade BS-20 almost 50 per cent or 12 officers have been transferred from Sindh.

Talking about PAS officers, the chief minister said that against their 67 sanctioned posts, only 30 were working, which means Sindh has a shortage of 67 officers.

The Sindh government has sanctioned the strength of 16 officers of Grade BS-21 against which only four officers are working, he said.

Shah said that without his consultation, PAS and PSP have been transferred from Sindh, and officers from other provinces have been sent to Sindh. “The officers who have come here in Sindh are being allowed to join and the officers who have been transferred from Sindh have been directed to continue,” he said adding the provincial cabinet has rejected the transfer order of the officers issued by the Establishment Division.

The CM urged the Establishment Division not to harass the officers for joining where they have been transferred and allow them to work in Sindh. “Different districts of this province have different dynamics, therefore the officers who have worked here have ample experience to deal with the different situations here,” he said, adding that if the new officers were posted in different areas it would create serious issues.

Sindh govt voices its concern over shortage of PAS officers

Talking about the census, Shah said that his government had serious reservations. Giving an example of house count, he said that in KPK over 3.84 million houses have been counted. Punjab has 17.1 million, Sindh 8.58 million and Balochistan 1.77 million households. He added that KP has on average 7.9 members per house, Balochistan 6.95, Punjab 6.43 and Sindh 5.58 which means Sindh has the lowest number of family members per house.

Quoting a Unicef survey, Shah said that it has disclosed the KP has 7.6 members per house, Balochistan 7.7 members, Punjab 6.43 and Sindh 7.2 members per house. “This shows that Sindh has a population of 620 million," he said.

“I am surprised that the federal minister [Asad Umar] gave a totally baseless, unfounded and incorrect statement on the floor of the joint session," he claimed.

Shah said that former President Asif Zardari has rightly pointed out that the seed the PTI has sown its fruits would be enjoyed by someone else.

The Chief Minister said that the provincial cabinet, in order to incentivize the growers and to encourage them to grow more wheat so that Sindh could be self-sufficient in the crop, has decided to fix the support price of wheat at Rs2200 per 40 kg for season 2021-22.

He said that the federal government had opposed fixation of wheat price per 40 kg at Rs2000 last year but when the wheat shortage occurred, they imported wheat from Ukraine and Russia at the rate of Rs6200 per 100 kg while they [fed govt] were not ready to offer Rs5000 per bag to the local growers. “This shows that the federal government was not ready to offer better prices to the growers of the country, but they are ready to give benefits to the growers of other countries,” he lamented.

The provincial cabinet after thorough discussion and deliberations approved an amendment in Section 2(h) of the Sugar Factories Control Act, 1950 under which “the crushing season shall be commenced from November 1 to November 30” for which the provincial government would issue specific notification.

It may be noted that the crushing season starts from October 1 on which, due to change in climate, sugarcane crops don’t get ready for harvesting. Therefore, an amendment has been made to the law and referred the draft amended bill to the assembly. The Punjab government has already made a similar amendment.

The chief minister told the media that the cabinet had directed the irrigation department to surrender the land which was not required for any essential/operational purpose.

Umar accuses Sindh govt of creating 'artificial' price hike

Shah said that the Irrigation department has surrendered 48 acres along the embankments of Rice Canal in Larkana city. He added that with the passage of time 19 colonies with 1500 houses and more than 4000 population have emerged along the rice canal embankments.

The CM said that the Irrigation department has surrendered its 48-acre land which has been allotted to Katchiabadies to regularise the colonies as per its policy framework. He added that a similar exercise was conducted in other districts and cities of the province so that human settlements could be protected from being displaced.

He said that the federal government recently introduced a programme, Targeted Commodity subsidy programme/Ehsaas Raashan Madad, with proposed coverage of all the province.

Shah said that the total cost of the programme was said to be Rs180 billion in which the federal government’s share would be 35 percent or only Rs42 billion and the provinces would have to share 65 percent or Rs78 billion. He added that the share of the Sindh government would be 17.67 billion (22.65 percent of all provinces).

The cabinet discussed the matter and learnt that the beneficiary would have to register himself through an android mobile phone to get subsidies on atta, sugar, oil and pulses. Therefore, the cabinet directed the chief secretary to get some clarifications from the federal government so that a suitable decision could be taken, the CM told the media.

The cabinet also allowed the Excise and Taxation department to rationalise the registration, renewal fees of Electric vehicles so that they could easily be registered in the province.

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Fahad Shamim Nov 23, 2021 11:33am
Come on, in which world do you live. World is a global village now. There are 100s of news channels , phones are there, internet is there with tons of latest update. Overseas Pakistani can compare your performance verses what happening in other part of the world. They know the ground reality better then many who are in isolation and never seen how other country are progressing. It is your fear that you have not performed that is why saying such stuff
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