Islamabad to undertake development works in Sindh through a company

Government

Federal govt. drops several important development schemes of province

Sindh is not Islamabad’s colony; it has decided to carry out development works through a company ‘Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited’, which is unacceptable – Murad

Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the federal government, considering the province of Sindh as a colony of Islamabad, has decided to carry out its development works through a company, Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL), which was unacceptable.

This he said on Wednesday while addressing a press conference here at Auditorium of Sindh Assembly. He was accompanied by Senior Advisor Nisar Khuhro, Information Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Advisor Murtaza Wahab and Special Assistant to CM Javed Nayab Leghari.

He said that Sindh has not been given any new scheme in the next proposed 2020-21 PSDP, except two energy schemes, including power and gas connections for Dhabeji Special Economic Zone.

Shah said that the NEC meeting was scheduled to be held in Islamabad but at the eleventh hour he was told that the chief ministers and other members from the province would join the meeting from their offices through video link. “I was surprised that the prime minister chaired a seven-hour long cabinet meeting which was not a constitutional body – it has been defined in rules of business where as the NEC was a constitutional body and it should have been held on a single table to discuss the economic growth, PSDP and other issues falling under its domain.

He said that NEC was a 13-member body and it could have been held under the PM in Islamabad.

Shah said that the NEC meeting had six agenda items but it discussed only two items – Annual Plan, 2019-20 and 2020-21 and indicators of economic growth such as agriculture and industrial sectors.

He said that the federal government told the meeting that their overall tax collection was 31 percent higher than the last year because non-tax revenues were high. “This is right because they [Fed govt.]  have issued some licenses from where their collection shows a growth but during the last  11 months the FBR has collected Rs3.5 trillion against a target of Rs5.5 trillion,” he disclosed adding that Sindh was told that it would receive Rs.835 billion against which the Sindh was receiving Rs.606 billion. “This shows a shortfall of Rs.229 billion and it has badly affected our over development portfolio,” he lamented.

Shah said that he had chaired a meeting on PSDP on Tuesday and found discrepancies in the [PSDP] document. He added that on Wednesday morning he received a revised PSDP document in which he found that a separate company was formed to carry out development schemes of the federal government in Sindh.

He said that every province has been given funds to carry out uplift works but a separate company, SIDCL has been formed for Sindh. “This is quite surprising and new thing for me,” he said and added for the first time he has seen around 22 schemes, including 20 of Sindh province assigned to the Cabinet division to implement. “The cabinet Division of the federal government is not a development schemes executing agency,” he said.

He said that he raised this objection in the NEC meeting and told the prime minister that in 2015 PM Nawaz had given Green Line project to Karachi and had said they [fed govt.] would construct on their own. He went on saying that the federal government formed Karachi Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (KIDCL) and started Green Line bus transit system scheme of Rs.24.6 billion. In June 2019, a year before, Rs.21.2 billion was shown utilized on the schemes. “When, I saw the documents, Rs.19.5 billion were shown utilized on the schemes on 30 June 2020 while Rs.21.2 billion they had shown utilized in June 2019,” he said and added how they were doing jugglery with figures of the projects of Sindh.

Talking about a scheme the federal government had included in the PSDP under the name of Improvement and Rehabilitation of Streets, water and sewerage system under KMC, Shah said that how a vague type of scheme could be taken up for which they had no knowledge of the works to be carried out. He added that surprisingly, the DDWP had approved it on March 13, 2020 at a cost of Rs1.1 billion and then Rs1.1 billion they had shown utilized.

Referring to another schemes of Rs.2.44 billion named as Reconstruction of Manghopir Road, he told the work had been assigned to SIDCL. It was approved by the PML-N govt. for Rs.2.44 billion and so far Rs.1.2 have been utilized and he was expecting that PM would inaugurate the schemes but at the ground everyone knows what has happened. He also quoted a scheme: Reconstruction of Nishtar Road of Rs.1.9 billion approved in 2018, an old schemes and so far they have utilized Rs.781 million.

Talking about Fire Fighting System scheme of Rs.1.876 billion, the chief minister said that Rs.1.21 billion have been utilized but so far the KMC has not received even a tyre of a fire tender. He said the scheme of construction of Road on Malir Band was approved for Rs.44 million and this has been included is the new PSDP but it is also an old scheme and nothing has been utilized on it.

Talking about M-9 scheme, construction of inter-change for Rs.14.5 Rs1.8 billion, he said the federal government has allocated only Rs.500 million. “When it would be completed can be guessed from the allocation,” he said.

He said that in the PSDP schemes in the name of `Development in Hyderabad and Mirpur division’ have been included but nobody know which schemes were they. “As a provincial government we must know which schemes they are taking up so that the provincial government may not launch in duplication,” he said.

He also disclosed that in the PSDP Development schemes under PM program in Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad worth Rs.1.8 billion have been included. “The PM should give us mega projects such as lining of canals, dam projects and water schemes in Thar but he chose to construct surface drains in the streets,” he said.

He also pointed out other schemes, Improvement of different roads, streets, including water and sewerage in a constituency of East Karachi of Rs.217 million included in PSDP. “This might be in a MPA constituency but the Supreme Court has given a judgement that no MPA could be given direct scheme, then how they have allocated Rs.217 million for an MPA in District East.”

He said that scheme of providing fresh water in Manchar, which they had appreciated it in 2019-20, now have dropped. He added that Lyari Expressway was Rs.2 billion throw-forward under which displaced people had to be re-located but this schemes has also been dropped.

He said that Hyderabad – Sukkur road was not being constructed and the federal government has kept Rs.100 million against a total cost Rs.175 billion of the project. Now, the federal government was planning to include it in BOT projects.

The chief minister concluding his press conference said that the federal government was taking up 20 schemes through SIDCL in the name of PM. “We have serious objections on SIDCL. Why such companies have not been formed in other provinces where the federal government was investing massively,” he questioned. 9Staff Report)

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