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KARACHI: The provincial cabinet has decided to start wheat procurement from March 15 at a rate of Rs4000 per 40 kg, besides approving Rs58.7 billion for relief work, enhancing the scope of the Rapid Response Force and creating a Crowd Management Unit to respond during violent public disorders.

The cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants and other concerned officers.

CM Advisor on Law Murtaza Wahab, after the cabinet meeting, briefed the media and said that the cabinet condemned the terrorist attack in Peshawar. It expressed solidarity with the people of Turkiye where southern areas have been hit by a deadly earthquake.

The cabinet appreciated Chief Minister Murad Ali’s visit to Peshawar where he visited the blast site and the hospital to give consolation to the injured. It also endorsed the chief minister’s announcement of Rs1 million compensation for the families of the person killed in the blast and Rs500,000 for the injured.

The cabinet also decided to dispatch 100,000 blankets to Turkey for earthquake-affected people.

The general administration department told the cabinet that during the floods and unprecedented rains, Rs58.7 billion were released, including Rs27,648.452 million for relief and rehabilitation, Rs8,390 million for a subsidy to farmers on Rabi Crop 2022-23, Rs1000 million for provision of fodder, Rs14,150.3 million for the repair of Irrigation works, Rs3,628.63 million for the survey or damages and related works, Rs3925.952 million for KMC and DMCs to repair bus routes and other works and Rs985.405 million for purchase of medicines.

The chief minister directed Advisor Agriculture to coordinate with the federal government that has been provided Rs8.39 billion for a subsidy to farmers on Rabi crops so that they could be distributed through BISP in time.

The cabinet approved the amount of Rs25.036 billion released/ to be released onward for relief and rehabilitation.

The cabinet took up the issue of recent recruitments in the police department in which there were some complaints of fake domiciles. The chief minister said that the recruitment was made purely on merit only for locals.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to get all the domiciles of newly recruited in the police department verified so that genuine, and locals could be recruited.

The cabinet was told that the Inspector General Police has sent a summary for the expansion of the Rapid Response Force (RRF) and the establishment of the Crowd Management Unit (CMU).

The Rapid Response Force (RRF) is an anti-terrorist and anti-dacoits force operating throughout Sindh, established in 2009. The RRF, in addition to core responsibilities, provides security to vital Installations such as oil refineries, the Supreme Court & High Court at Karachi, the CM House, and the Assembly Building, security of VVIPs & cricket teams, important religious, political, or social gatherings.

The meeting was told that the expansion of RRF to the entire province will enable district police or other LEAs to respond quickly in case of an emergency. It was told that the CMU is required to respond professionally during a violent public disorder, to prevent loss of lives and damage to property, to manage the unruly crowd, and to maintain law & order.

The CM directed the Home dept that in order to avoid financial implications for the expansion of RRF new positions should be created by re-appropriating positions of Sindh Reserve Police (SRP).

The CM decided that the SRP would be limited only to the provision of general security to Sindh House Islamabad under the separate administrative control of SSU and he also approved the expansion of the Rapid Response Force (RRF) throughout Sindh

The cabinet after thorough discussions approved the Karachi Water & Sewerage Corporation Bill, 2022 with the responsibility of planning & execution of bulk production, supply, and distribution of potable water; engaging PPP or CBO/ NGO or autonomous body through the PPP node of KWSB, determine the quantity of water to be supplied to each autonomous and constituent body or person(s) and issuance of licenses for providing water and sewerage services complying all standards.

The corporation will have a board and the Chairperson of the Board shall be the Mayor of KMC and in his absence Administrator KMC will be the chairman. It would have seven ex-officio and nine non-official members (Academia, Civil Society, Water & Sewerage Specialists, Legal and Financial Experts) and two MPAs from Sindh Assembly.

The corporation Board Shall develop and approve strategic plans for water delivery and approve the budget.

The Corporation shall be managed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) appointed by the Board of KWSC for a period of four years. It would also have a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Internal Audit Officer, and Chief IT Officer.

The cabinet referred the bill to the assembly.

The cabinet was told that it had allotted 75 acres of land to the Hyderabad Press Club in Deh Ganjo Takar, Taluka Latifabad. The cabinet approved a grant of Rs14,970,120 for the club to complete its documentation process.

The cabinet decided to grant a higher grade on the basis of Time-Scale for only isolated/ non-promotional posts. The criteria for the award of the Time Scale would be given to the employees after attaining the age of 05,12,19 & 27 years of satisfactory service. It would be given only one stage above the present pay scale.

These employees of Grade BS-1 would go into BPS-2 and after 12 years in grade BS-3, after 19 years in grade BS-4, and after 27 years to BS-5. In this way, the employees of such categories from grades BS-1 to BS-15 would get the time scale.

The health department presented a policy of selection criteria for admission in the B.S Nursing (Generic-04 years) Degree Program-2022 for Private Sector Colleges.

Under the policy, as approved by the cabinet, the local/ residents of the province would be given admission on a priority basis, and the seats that remain vacant would be filled on open merit (other than Sindh).

The selection criteria and quota for private Institutions/ Colleges in B.S Nursing would be for women, minorities, and the disabled as 15 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.

The qualifying education will remain as FSc (pre-medical); marks percentage will be 50 percent as per eligibility as approved by Pakistan Nursing Council.

The cabinet decided that wheat procurement for the new crop would be started from February 15 at Rs4000 per 40 kg. The target for procurement would be set in the next cabinet meeting.

The l cabinet approved the appointment of former chief secretary Mohammad Siddique Memon and retired PCS officer Raheem Soomro as Members (Technical) Provincial Local Government Commission.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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