Sindh Cabinet decides 23 agenda items during meeting at CM House

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KARACHI: The provincial cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah discussed and decided 23 agenda items, including Rs2. billion grant in aid for SIUT, Rs5 billion for the retirement of outstanding Bridge Finance facility to Ghotki-Kandhkot bridge, and approved comprehensive human rights policy and others.The cabinet was held at CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, Advisors, Special Assistants, Chief Secretary Dr Mohammad Suhail Rajput  and other concerned officers.Funds to SIUT: The cabinet in July 202 had decided to hand over the Benazir Institute of Urology & Transplantation (BIUT) building to SIUT along with a transfer of ADP allocation of Rs.101.400 million (Revenue Component) & provision of additional funds amounting to Rs.767.877 million as grant-in-aid for the purchase of machinery, equipment, and furniture,The cabinet also approved the provision of Rs.1.5 billion as the operational cost to SIUT as Grant-in-Aid, but no amount has been released. After discussing the matter, the cabinet approved releasing Rs2369.277 million to SUIT.MERF allowed to retain health facilities:  The cabinet allowed the MERF to retain eight Health Facilities by the end of the current financial year. The health facilities allowed MERF to retain include DHQ Civil Hospital Thatta; Taluka Headquarter Hospital (THQ) Mirpur Sakro; Rural Health Center (RHC) Gharo; Rural Health Center (RHC) Var; Rural Health Center (RHC) Jherruck; Rural Health Center (RHC) Jungshai; Rural Health Center (RHC) Baghan; and Rural Health Centre (RHC) Keti Bunder.Procurement of medicines:
The cabinet allowed the health dept to continue the procurement of drugs/ medicines and surgical items.Human Rights Policy: The human rights dept presented a draft Human Rights Policy for the Province of Sindh with the technical support of the Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project team and other experts.On the directives of the CM, the draft was shared with 19 departments/Institutions of the Sindh govt and 24 civil society representative individuals to get their feedback.Sindh Human Rights Policy focuses on the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of human rights in compliance with the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan, core United Nations (UN) human rights treaties ratified by Pakistan, and other international obligations.The draft Policy addresses two categories of rights: Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Under the category of Civil and Political Rights, the Right to Life, Liberty and Security, Access to Justice, and Right to Information (RTI) are covered.Under the category of ESCR, Workers’ Rights, the Right to Affordable Health, Education as a Right for Development, Cultural Rights, and Environmental Rights are covered. In terms of groups, it addresses issues of marginalized sections and its component include such as Women’s Rights, Child Rights, Minority Rights, Rights of Senior Citizens, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Rights of Transgender Persons.The time framework of the Policy is five years starting from 2023 and ending in 2027. This Policy will be reviewed after every five years to consider the latest developments in the international arena and human rights situation in the province. The cabinet approved the policy.Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Dual Carriageway (HMDC): The cabinet was told that in order to resolve the water logging issue at HMDC road at Tando Jam and to provide relief to the residents of the affected area, the provincial government is envisaging developing a wastewater drain, sewerage line, and a water drainage system. The work includes the completion of the drainage system from Tando Jam to the disposal point; rehabilitation of the disposal point. Proper drainage on both sides of the Project. Elevated drainage system. Capacity to accommodate the sewerage of Tando Jam. Rehabilitation of road passing through Tando Jam Town Area.The cabinet approved the project of Rs1 billion to resolve the  salinity and water -logging issue.Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridget:
The Works & Services dept told the cabinet that the repayment of the availed and outstanding bridge finance facility of Rs 5 billion to the Concessionaire for onward payment to the lenders. The cabinet approved the payment of Rs5 billion to retire the bridge finance facility to the lenders/banks. Exemption of SST: The Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) told the cabinet that WAPDA informed them [SRB] that they [WAPDA] has been entrusted with the execution of the “Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme, K-IV Project, Phase-I (260 MGD)”Initially, the project was to be executed by the KWSB, and conditional exemption of Sindh Sales Tax (SST) was provided to the then-executing agency  – KWSB. The WAPDA authorities have requested SRB to exempt them from the SST.The Chief Minister said that the project was most important for the city, therefore he approved the extension of SST.The project is likely to be completed by October 2024 for Rs 126.404 billion, including the expenditure of Rs 14.67 billion already incurred by the Government of Sindh. Now, the WAPDA is executing the project by engaging national and international contractors.Justice of Peace: The cabinet-approved appointment of Syed Ali Zaheer Rizvi (Central) and Dinshaw Byram Avari South as Justice of Peace. Mr Dilawar Gaddi (Hyderabad), Abdul Jabbar (Sanghar), Mr. Hero (Mirpurkhas), and Mohammad Akram (East- Karachi) as Notary Public.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at