Fawad sees ‘constitutional crisis’ in Sindh

The Nation  |  Jun 14, 2021

KARACHI - Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday ruled out the possibility of imposing Governor Rule in Sindh, saying that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government considered it a non-democratic and extra-constitutional step.

The federal government, however, was in favour of the implementation of Article 140-A of Constitution, which required the provinces to establish a local government (LG) system, and devolve political, administrative and financial powers to the LG elected representatives so that the basic issues of people could be resolved at their doorsteps, the minister told reporters at a press conference here at the Sindh Governor House.

The minister questioned the Sindh government where did it spend over Rs 1,800 billion which it had received under the National Finance Commission award in the previous years as nothing on ground was seen.

Netanyahu vows to topple any Bennett government, return to power An amount of over Rs 700 billion was earmarked for the province in next year’s federal budget, he added.

He lamented that despite having a major chunk of national resources, the people of Sindh were suffering only because of the policies of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) government, which had completely failed to resolve their problems.

The health system in the province had deteriorated to the extent that the Supreme Court judges had to observe that the hospitals devolved to the province should be handed back over to the federal government for improving their service delivery, the minister remarked.

PPP leaders are stealing water of growers, alleges Fawad

Similarly, he said, the deplorable condition of development projects, broken roads, and non-availability of drinkable water and other basic facilities spoke volumes about the provincial government’s performance.

9th death anniversary of Mehdi Hassan being observed today The PPP government had failed to maintain law and order even in the provincial capital, he added.

Fawad deplored the Sindh government for not convening the meeting of Provincial Finance Commission, nor putting financial resources at the disposal of LG bodies or devolving administrative powers to them.

In a total contravention of the Constitution, he said, all the decisions were being made at the Bilawal House undermining the authority of provincial assembly and cabinet.

“This is a constitutional crisis in itself,” he added, urging the Supreme Court to ensure implementation of Constitution, particularly Article 140-A in Sindh as it was the only statutory procedure for granting basic rights to both urban and rural areas of the province.

The minister said the PTI government was committed to resolve the issues being faced by people of Sindh, which evident from the growth oriented budget 2021-22, being hailed by every segment of the society, including trade and industry.

PFMA hints hike in flour prices He said the next fiscal year would be the year of the development of Pakistan and prosperity of its people as the government focused on provision of relief to common men as well as agriculture, industry and business sectors in the budget.

Kamyab Jawan Programme, housing projects and Ehsaas Programme covered different segments of the society, he added.

Fawad said recently, when the national power transmission system was under severe pressure and the electric supply in the entire country was disrupted, Karachi comparatively suffered less than the previous years. The reason was that the Federal Government was providing 500-MW additional electricity to K-Electric to provide relief to citizens of Karachi, he added.

‘Pakistan Media Development Authority’

As regards the issues of journalist fraternity, the minister said the federal government wanted to constitute Pakistan Media Development Authority to ensure the rights of media professionals and resolve their problems. He said the government had paid the outstanding dues of Rs1.17 billion to the media houses so that they could pay salaries to the media workers and journalists.

Israel's Bennett says his government will back settlement activity As the minimum wages (in the budget) had been fixed at Rs 20,000, the media organisations should also raise the salaries of their workers accordingly, he added.

With regard to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Fawad said its leadership had realised that the party had no political future. Therefore, they had resorted to antagonistic politics. They were opposing each and every step of the government without any sound reasoning. They had rejected the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, use of electronic voting machines and other people friendly measures.

He said the PML-N leaders had undermined the vital role of overseas Pakistanis in the country’s development and financial stability. The expatriates were sending their hard earned money to their homeland while the PML-N leadership always laundered taken the money made through corruption and embezzlement broad, he added.

To a question, Fawad said the federal government was fully committed to carry forward the Green Line Project, but the provincial departments were not cooperating in that regard. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and federal minister Asad Umar were fully focused to resolve the transport issues of mega city, but the Sindh government’s reluctance was a hurdle.

COVID-19 claims seven more lives in Sindh To another query, he said the Sindh government was demanded more funds. The funds allocated by the Centre in the past for specific purpose were not utilised, rather the same were transferred to foreign bank accounts, he alleged. “We want to spend the funds for the betterment of public,” he said.

Responding to a question on the performance of state-owned entities, the minister said the PPP’s last regime had destroyed public institutions by large scale induction of employees and mismanagement, but the PTI government was now taking remedial measures to save them.

‘Stealing water of growers’

The incumbent government had appointed heads of 60 of entities purely on merit, whose performance was improving, he added. As regards distribution of irrigation water, Fawad said the Indus River System Authority was releasing water to Sindh as per its share. Punjab was not taking water from Sindh’s share, rather it were the PPP leaders who were usurping and stealing the water of farmers and growers, he added.

He said the Federation had suggested Sindh to appoint impartial observers on entry points but Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had not accepted the proposal as it would expose their water theft.

The minister said the Sindh government was not ready to provide “Health Card” facility to people of the province. The Health Card was a comprehensive medical facility for the deserving population as it provided the coverage of Rs one million for treatment of various diseases to each family.

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