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Wednesday November 16, 2022

Sindh Cabinet Approves Rs 50b For Construction Of Houses Damaged During Floods

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah approved Rs 50 billion for the construction of damaged houses for flood-affected people.

“Each and every owner of the damaged house would be given Rs 50,000 to start construction, and when the construction would reach the plinth level the remaining amount of Rs 250,000 would be transferred to his bank account to complete the construction,” the CM decided in consultation with the cabinet members.

This was disclosed by Minister Information Sharjeel Inam Memon while addressing a press conference at Sindh Archives Building on Wednesday.

It may be noted that the meeting was held at CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and other concerned secretaries.

Sharjeel Memon shared the decisions taken by the cabinet. CM Advisor on Agriculture Manzoor Wassan apprised the cabinet that 3.6 million acres of standing crops had been damaged in the recent floods and the farmers had suffered losses worth Rs 421 billion.

Wassan said that it was agreed to begin with the provision of free wheat seed for which Rs. 13.5 billion were required.

He added that the Sindh govt provided Rs. 8.39 billion while the federal govt was contributing Rs. 4.7 billion.

Talking about the mechanism to reimburse the funds of Rs 5000 per acre, Wassan said that Taluka and district committees were formed. A Provincial Committee is established at DG, Agriculture Extension.

The review meeting of flood response chaired by Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari a committee comprising the CM Advisor for Agriculture, Minister Information, and Minister for Local Govt was formed.

The committee held a preliminary meeting on November 15 and was of the view that in order to expedite the processes, an additional layer of the committee may be incorporated at Tappa level where, Tapedars, Field Assistants of Agriculture,

Members of District Council and Notables may be added who would help in data collection.

The cabinet directed the agriculture dept to collect the data at the earliest so that funds could be provided to the growers.

The cabinet approved Rs 50 billion for Sindh People’s Housing for Flood affectees (SPFH) to be used for Retrospective Financing for spending the amount on fully damaged houses for the time being so that project may start disbursement till the World Bank financing was available.

The cabinet decided that the funds for the owner of a damaged house would be given Rs 50,000 for starting the construction. When the construction would attain the plinth level the remaining amount of Rs 250,000 would be disbursed.

The cabinet decided to engage well-reputed NGOs so that the entire process could be made transparent.
It may be noted that 1.7 million houses have been damaged by the flood and the construction of all the damaged houses would cost Rs 160 billion, of them the World Bank has pledged Rs 110 billion, and the remaining amount is being arranged by the provincial government from the federal government and through sources and donors.

Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh presenting the village electrification agenda in the cabinet said that the Sindh government was continuously taking necessary measures for the electrification of villages under the Annual Development Program and the main criteria of the selection of villages for electrification include the villages having a population of 100 souls and above; the villages having a maximum of 4 Kms from existing 11 KV line and preference would be given to villages within half kilometer distance from HT line.

The cabinet was told that HESCO has been given Rs 6609.161 million for the electrification of 10,890 villages of them HESCO has provided electricity to 5108 villages at a cost of Rs 5613.593 million, electrification work was in progress in 337 villages for Rs 754.204 million and electrification order for 5445 villages for Rs 6367.797 million were under feasibility stage.

Imtiaz Shaikh said that Rs 151.737 million were in balance, which may be allowed to utilize for the electrification of more villages. The cabinet approved the proposal.

Imtiaz Shaikh told the cabinet that SEPCO was given Rs 3499.634 million for the electrification of over 1.5 million villages.

The SEPCO has provided electricity to 2909 villages at Rs 2952.209 million. Work order has been issued for 3893 villages, 3227 villages’ electrification has been approved,151 villages are under the approval stage, and work on 318 villages is in progress.

Similarly, K-Electric has been provided Rs 103.180 million against which 12 villages have been electrified.

The cabinet directed the energy dept to expedite the electrification of the villages through Alternative Energy Solutions like Solar PV technology for solarization through mini/microgrids, provision of solar home systems, solar-based streetlights, solar Tube wells, and other multiple uses.

The cabinet-approved solarization would be carried out through the Energy Department and the provision of new/additional transformers with allied accessories is also included in the village electrification program.
Minister Information Sharjeel Memon told the cabinet that the Sindh Protection of Journalists and other Media Practitioners Act, 2021” has been enacted by the Provincial Assembly and notified in August 2021 and its Rules have also been notified.

Memon presented a 14-member draft commission under retired Justice Rasheed Rizvi as Chairpersons with four non-ex-officio members, including secretary Information, Secretary Home, Secretary Law, and secretary and nine non-official members- Fahim Siddiqui of KUJ, Kazi Asad APNS, Dr. Jabbar Khatak CPNE, Athar Kazi PBA, Ayaz Tunio SindhBar Council, Prof Tauseef Khan HRCP, Shazia Umar MPA, Syeda Marvi MPA, and Ghuma Fariduddin APNEC.

The cabinet approved the formation of the commission.

The home dept presented amendments in Sindh Prohibition of Preparation, Manufacturing, Storage, Sale, and Use of Gutka and Manpuri Act -2019 in the cabinet and said the amendments in the bill were pending before the standing committee of the provincial assembly.

The cabinet approved the amendments as per the order passed by Sindh High Court, Sindh, in a Constitutional Petition No. S-349/ 2021, regarding the incorporation of certain additional amendments in the existing Act, in order to create deterrence against unlawful preparation, manufacturing, storage, sale, and use of Gutka, Manpuri, and betel nuts.

The provincial cabinet approved a proposal of the Investment department to create an Rs 100 million Endowment Fund to enact commitment and partnership for investment promotion events.

The cabinet approved Sindh Shaheed Recognition and Compensation Rules-2022.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Senior Citizen card’s design was approved.

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