KARACHI: On Wednesday, the Sindh cabinet accepted a Rs4.021 billion compensation package for the province’s rain-affected citizens and asked the federal government to equal the amount in order to rehabilitate affected persons in true letter and spirit.
All the provincial ministers and advisors, the chief secretary and the other officers involved attended the conference.
A survey of the people impacted by Monsoon 2020 was undertaken by the Board of Revenue on the Cabinet Directives.
The study found that the heavy rains took 149 lives, 103 were injured, 7,120 pacca and 75,195 katcha houses were totally destroyed, 9,102 pacca and 171,463 katcha houses were partially damaged and 8,165 cows, buffalos, horses, camels and 11,630 goats, sheep and donkeys were killed.
The cabinet was advised that compensation for an individual who died in a natural disaster was set at Rs100,000 for bread earners and Rs50,000 for non-bread earners under the statute.
Sindh govt wants ‘old’ KCR project scrapped
Rs25,000 for wounded, Rs25,000 for totally and partially damaged pacca houses, Rs10,000 for fully and partially damaged katcha houses, Rs10,000 for large animals (cow/buffalo/horse/camel) and Rs5,000 for small livestock killed in the rains, such as goat, sheep and donkey, were authorised by the cabinet.
Rs4.021bn will be the cumulative amount of compensation to be provided to the injured citizens, which the cabinet thought was inadequate for vulnerable people to be rehabilitated. The cabinet then asked the chief minister to write a letter to the prime minister asking that the reimbursement sum be balanced.
The cabinet also authorised the provision of relief for small traders and farmers suffering damages due to heavy rains by providing them a federal and provincial tax exemption.
It was agreed that the provincial government would petition the federal government to extend a tax exemption to small traders affected by the rain.
Sindh wants old KCR stopped
The cabinet was told by the transport and mass transit department that 11 of the 24 Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) crossing sites had to be installed either in the form of underpasses or flyovers to ensure smooth traffic movement.
The FWO, for which the Sindh government had to release Rs25 million, had to generate the comprehensive design and preparation of PC-1 for the proposed structures, it added.
It was said that Rs15m had already been allocated by the Sindh government and the cabinet had authorised the release of the remaining Rs10m.
The cabinet noted that it was not feasible to begin the new KCR as accepted and included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects with the start of the old KCR. It was then suggested that the new KCR be stopped and construction on the new one (KCR) be begun by advising the federal government to finalise the financial mechanism with the Chinese authorities to launch the scheme, otherwise it would be an injustice for the citizens of Karachi to fly in the old one.
The cabinet was told that on the basis of the time scale, certain college teachers were seeking promotions. The cabinet ordered the minister of education to review the application.
Rules relaxed for KMC’s 66 CNG buses
The cabinet was notified that there were 66 CNG buses for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, but almost all were off the road.
The Department of Local Government recommended that the Cabinet allow the relaxing of the regulations for the sale of operational privileges, full management and fare collection of dedicated 66 CNG buses.
Such buses will run from Gulshan-i-Hadeed to Keamari via Sharea Faisal and other public transport routes in the city.
The cabinet changed the rules and allowed five years of operational rights to be auctioned by the local authority.
The home department told the cabinet that the engineering procedure for installing 10,000 CCTV cameras had been completed under the secure city programme and now construction work had to be carried out. After detailed discussion, the cabinet allowed the home department to sign with the National Radio Telecom Corporation (NTRC) a memorandum of understanding for the installation of 10,000 cameras in the region.
Special magistrate powers were given to revenue officers by the cabinet on the request of the home department.
Land for Qatari ruling family
The provincial forest department informed the cabinet that a member of the ruling family of Qatar had demanded the allocation for the falconry season 2020-21 of a non-cultivated belt of Tehsil Jati, Sujawal district, with assurance of conformity with the law.
The cabinet was advised that $100,000 was the required hunting fee, which was raised by $5,000. The cabinet accepted the application.
The meeting was told that the Sindh Police Inspector General wished to procure from Wah Factories 700 handguns of 9 mm calibre for which exemption from the application of the procurement rules was sought. The exception and release of Rs630m was authorised by the cabinet.
The Cabinet also approved the nomination, for a term of two years, of retired Justice Shahnawaz Tariq as a provincial ombudsman for defence against abuse of women at work.