Sindh to take up water issue at CCI meeting


Sindh to take up water issue at CCI meeting KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has vowed to take up the pending issues of water allocation, devolution of some institutions, transfer of Zakat and royalty on crude oil with the federal government at the next Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting to be held in Islamabad.

The federal government will be asked to ensure additional supply of 650 million gallon a day (mgd) water from the Indus river system for Karachi, where domestic water consumption due to the high urban growth rate has reached the abysmally low level of 12.75 gallons per capita per day though the international standardised level was 40 gallons per capita per day, according to the chief minister.

Mr Shah was presiding over a meeting, which was held to discuss CCI issues, at the New Sindh Secretariat here on Wednesday.

The meeting also developed a consensus to decide a date for the sixth population and housing census in Sindh. Emphasis was laid on the measures to exclude the 3.5 million aliens, including two million Afghan nationals, living in the province from the local population count.

The chief minister said he would also take up the health department-related issues with the federal government after seeking legal opinion about transfer of administrative control of some institutions including the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, Pakistan Nursing Council, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan, National Council of Tib, National Council of Homoeopathy, Pharmacy Council of Pakistan, Directorate of Central Health Establishment and Tobacco Control as well as the institutions related to the livestock and fisheries department which were yet to be devolved to the Sindh government. They included the Quality Control Laboratory Karachi, Marine Fisheries Research Laboratory, Karachi, Fisheries Research Center, Oceanography and Hydrological Research, Central Fisheries Department and Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority, he added.

Mr Shah also decided to take up issues related to the population welfare department at the CCI meeting. He was earlier informed that the federal government had not yet transferred the directorate of Central Warehouse and Supplies and National Research Institute for Fertility Care in Karachi to the Sindh government. Despite the Ecnec-approved Rs13.33 billion PC-I of the Sindh population welfare programme (2010-15) that was to be funded under the current NFC award, the federal government had only released Rs10.41 billion, indicating the shortfall of Rs2.92 billion.

The other issues included non-transfer of collected Zakat to Sindh by the State Bank of Pakistan and collection of royalty on crude oil by the federal government despite residual subject.

Besides, it was agreed that the matter of devolution of plant protection department of the ministry of food, agriculture and livestock, including standardisation of pesticides and fertilisers, seed testing and seed certification, would be taken up with the federal government.

Similarly, the transfer of assets of central archaeological library, Pakistan culture and arts foundation relief fund, museum compensation fund, tourist information centres and motels pertaining to the culture department would be taken up with the federal government.

About EOBI, the meeting was informed that the Punjab government had filed a suit in the Supreme Court to stop the Federal Board of Revenue from EOBI collections. The chief minister directed law adviser to be a party in the case.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Sikander Mandhro, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Mumtaz Jakhrani, Syed Sardar Shah, Ghulam Qadir Malakani, Murtaza Wahab, chief secretary Siddique Memon, relevant secretaries and others.


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