KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) on Sunday staged a sit-in here at Fawarah Chowk against the Sindh Local Government Amendment Act 2021.
Addressing the protestors, PSP Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal said he will not call-off the protest till the provincial government devolve civic departments and hand over budgetary powers and resources to the local governments in accordance with the Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) formula.
He alleged that the PPP does not want to create and empower institutions, but it wanted to destroy them by seizing their resources. “Until our demands are met, we will continue our sit-in here, and if anyone tried to do adventure, we will respond them in the same language.”
Kamal said that the way Pakistan is being run after the 18th constitutional amendment has brought the country to a standstill. Administratively and financially, the country is unable to function. The original purpose of the 18th Amendment is yet to be fulfilled, he said.
He said that without the PFC formula, all institutions under the mayor are meaningless.
He said that the PPP is happy to hand over management control of local government institutions but the real matter is their resources which the provincial government is not ready to transfer to the elected mayor office. We need resources, and the PPP will have to give powers and resources to the people from Karachi to Kashmore, he said.
Provincial governments have become the worst dictators since the 18th Amendment is passed, he alleged. The provinces are not passing on the share of 56% financial resources they receive from the federation to the grassroots level. The federation has to repay the loans out of remaining 44%; it has to run army as well, while these are not the problems of the provinces.
Kamal said the chief ministers consider the money received in the NFC award as their own. Sindh gets 27% out of 56% financial share. The Chief Minister of Sindh gets Rs.1000 billion every year, another Rs.200 billion he earns from Karachi through taxes. The annual revenue of the Sindh government is Rs. 1200 billion. The Chief Minister is spending these 1200 billion at his sweet will, and not transferring these resources to lower level.
Kamal said his party had held a sit-in for 18 days on these issues in 2017 and sixteen points were presented for the LG governments’ empowerment. “At that time people used to make fun of us, but today all the parties in Sindh are talking about what we have been doing for 6 year,” he said.
The PPP delegation had accepted 70% of our demands a week ago but this is not a matter of our ego, it is a matter of right and wrong, he said.
PSP President Anis Qaimkhani and other central leaders were also present.