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KARACHI: The provincial cabinet which met under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took important decisions, including release of Rs58 billion debt support fund for on-going Public-Private Partnership (PPP-mode) development projects, besides providing Rs4 billion grant to NICVD, establishing a Sindh Physiotherapy Council, reconstituting Zakat council, allocating 0.5 percent job quota for transgenders and organizing festivals in every district but two more events in The provincial cabinet in order to effectively and efficiently finance Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects approved Rs58 billion for nine different projects to clear their liabilities.

The funds approved for the nine projects, include Rs13.1 billion for Malir Expressway, Rs19.2 billion for Nabisar-Vajihar water works, Rs6.73 billion Ghotki-Kandhkot bridge on River Indus, Rs4.3 billion for Mauripur Expressway, Rs5 billion for Korangi Link Road, Rs7.3 billion for Karachi Hub water Canal, Rs862 million for Karachi-Thatta Carriageway, Rs440 million for Children Hospital North Karachi and Rs830 million for Regional Blood Centres.

The PPP Unit would utilize the funds for debt servicing of the projects. The chief minister directed the PPP Unit to expedite the projects.

The cabinet was told that the NAB had declared missing/shortage of 67,846.94 tons of wheat in Kashmore and Naushero Feroze districts but when they shortage was verified it was recorded at 21,409.71 tons and 33,917.41 tons were available but were declared in the custody of the NAB.

The food department said that they had talked to the NAB authorities and told them that if the stocks available were not lifted the grain worth Rs1 billion would be infested with weevil. The NAB authorities told the food department that they have not stopped them from carrying the wheat. The cabinet directed the food department to lift the stocks and start them releasing as per policy.

The health department told the cabinet that National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (NICVD) has been given short payment during the last three years, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 than the allocated amount. Therefore, the NICVD has liabilities of Rs7.4 billion. The cabinet approved release of Rs4 billion immediately and the remaining amount would be provided to the NICVD later on.

The Health department told the cabinet that they were facing an acute shortage of administratively skilled and dynamic BS-20 officers, for their posting as District Health Officers in various districts for effective performance as head of district health administration. The cabinet was told that most of the posts of administrative nature are in grade BS-18 or in BS-19 at district level, such as deputy commissioner. The cabinet, after discussion approved conversion of DHO post of BS-20 to floating post of Grade BS-20/19.

Sindh cabinet approved creation of SPC to grant recognition to any institution in the province which trains for house job or internship or supervision clinical practice in foundation related to physiotherapy. The council would also regulate the minimum time duration of internship of the physiotherapy internees. The SPC would also be responsible for standardizing the hospitals physiotherapy departments and physiotherapy clinics for treatment purposes. The cabinet was told that Pakistan’s first Physical Therapy Institution was established in JPMC, Karachi, Sindh. At present 20 different public and private sectors universities offering PT degree programs, more than 1000 professionals are graduating. In the recent past approximately 50 new physical therapy colleges (mostly below standard have been opened; hence, the number of graduates is estimated to increase up to 5000 per year in near future.

The cabinet was told that due to the absence of a regulatory body this profession was engulfed by quackery, low quality clinical setups and poor education standards. The cabinet approved creation of the SPC and its draft bill and referred it to the assembly.

The meeting was told that the ADP schemes are allotted an ADP number every year and the number keeps changing for the same scheme as the scheme progresses in the next financial year. This creates confusion and problems to maintain data for every scheme. The finance department on the directives of Sindh Chief Minister has developed Bar code or what it has been named as Unique Identification Number (UIN). The UIN would be allotted to every individual scheme and would remain unchanged for the scheme throughout its lifespan from its inclusion in the ADP till its completion. The cabinet approved the UIN scheme that would be launched from next ADP-2022-23

The provincial cabinet on the proposal of Zakat & Usher department constituted and approved the appointment of Niaz Hussain Jessar, a retired Karachi Port Trust officer, as new chairman of Sindh Zakat Council. The members of council whose appointment has been approved by the cabinet include Mufti Ferozeuddin Hazarvi, Mufti Mohammad Nazir Jan Sarhandi and Mohammad Ashraf Gormani (Ulema), Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto, Ashraf Ali Isran (prominent persons) and Shama Arif Mithani and Advocate Shakira Siddiqui (women). These appointments have been made for a period of three years on honorary period.

The provincial cabinet approved to fix 0.5 percent quota for Transgenders in recruitment in all the government departments for which amendment in Sindh Civil bill was made.

The chief minister told the cabinet that a recently held Thar Jeep Rally had developed a soft image of Tharparkar. He directed the Sports department to plan a detailed programme for organizing sports events in every district but during the on-going winter season two events could be held in Thar. “Next year, we will try to organize the Desert Jeep Challenge on international level,” he said.

The provincial cabinet approved the appointment of Prof. Syed Jamal Raza as Executive Director of Sindh Institute of Child Health & Neonatology (SICHN) Karachi for a period of three years. He was selected amongst three short-listed candidates.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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