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KARACHI: The provincial cabinet, after thorough discussion and deliberations, has decided to launch a joint, well-planned, and decisive operation clean up against dacoits in katcha areas of the province in which the police of Punjab and Balochistan, Rangers, and Pak Army would participate.

The cabinet authorized the Inspector General of Police Ghulam Nabi Memon to coordinate with his counterparts of Balochistan and Punjab so that an operation could be planned in the katcha areas for which an amount of Rs2.79 billion was approved for the procurement of sophisticated military-grade field and surveillance weapons.

The meeting was presided over by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House on Thursday. Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and other concerned secretaries and offers attended the meeting.

Procurement of field weapons: The Home department and Inspector General of Police briefing the cabinet said that a joint operation in the katcha area of Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab has been planned as per government decision for which procurement of sophisticated field weapons and surveillance equipment would be required.

The IGP said that the matter for the purchase of Military Grade Weapons and Surveillance Systems was discussed in the 28th Provincial Apex Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Sindh on 5th January 2023.

The meeting had approved the proposal. The IGP told the cabinet that the weapons and surveillance system was required to control hardened criminals/gangs, operating in the Katcha area of District Kashmore, Shikarpur, and Ghotki, equipped with sophisticated weapons.

The cabinet was told that funds amounting to Rs. 2,796.184 million were required for the procurement of sophisticated/military-grade weapons to start a joint operation in which the police of three provinces, Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab would launch the operation with the support of Rangers and Pak Army.

The cabinet approved the proposal of the operation and also sanctioned the amount of Rs2.7 billion and directed the Home department to seek NOC from the Ministry of Interior for the purchase of the said weapons.

Upgradation of IT-related cadres: The Finance dept told the cabinet that the government has already upgraded 3871 IT-related posts and still 3,264 posts from grade BPS-5 to BS-16 were left over.

The computer operators/lab attendants, Hardware, and other posts have been upgraded.

The annual financial impact of the upgradation of the 3,264 IT-related posts on pay amounts to Rs.243.706/- million.

Coronavirus fund closed: The provincial cabinet was told that the Coronavirus Emergency Fund was created on March 18, 2020, under the chief secretary with the secretary finance, secretary health, Dr. Abdul Bari, Faisal Edhi, and Mushtaq Chhapra as its members. Right from the creation of the fund, 17 meetings were held.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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