KARACH — The Sindh Assembly held a lengthy session on Friday in which 22 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle took part in the budget debate, mostly criticizing the other’s leadership. The session lasted more than seven hours with three breaks of more than two hours for Namaz.
Speaking on the budget, Syed Abdur Rasheed, the only member of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, said that traditionally, pre-budget sessions are held before the budget so members can make their suggestions. “It seems that the PPP-led government of Sindh was busy forming the center government, that’s why the pre-budget session was not convened,” he added.
The MMA lawmaker lamented that only Rs 10 billion was kept for Karachi out of a Rs 1.7 trillion budget and all mega projects in the city were to be completed within the allocated amount. He said action needed to be taken outside of the interest system because the federal government would pay $4.5 trillion in interest on the loans. He said there was a shortage of rabies vaccines in the province. Rasheed said recovery work was not underway in opposition constituencies.
He said that the PPP Sindh government was carrying out development works in Lyari just before the local body elections. “These uprising works are the preparations of the PPP for the local elections,” he added.
The MMA lawmaker said Karachi, especially Lyari, had been starved of water over the past few years, requiring four aerial water tanks to be built at Lyari.
Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu in her budget speech said strict action had been taken against department staff following complaints of corruption and embezzlement. She said effective measures were being taken against the poliovirus and no cases had been recorded in the province in recent times.
Nadeem Siddiqui of MQM-P said the PPP government had given 15 budgets but no significant improvement in the health and education sectors had been seen over the past 14 years. He said the trade and industry sector was destroyed during the PPP rule in Sindh.
He said that the infrastructure of the Hyderabad site area was in poor condition and the industries that existed there were carrying out heaving works themselves.
Universities and Councils Minister Ismail Rahu said there were only 10 public sector universities in Sindh until 2008, but the PPP-led government of Sindh has established 17 more in over the past 13 years. He said the provincial government has always increased grants for universities.
Rahu, who also holds an environmental protection portfolio, said the said palm trees would be planted on 2,000 acres of land. “The palm trees would be planted on a 1,000 acre plot this year and will remain for years to come,” he added.
He said that the federal government led by the PTI had committed injustices against Sindh during his tenure. “Has the PTI government given a project to Sindh? he asked.
PTI parliamentary leader Khurram Sher Zaman said the provincial government had made false promises by allocating a huge development budget. “You (PPP) could not deliver on your earlier promises,” he said.
The PTI MPA said the provincial government had been unable to provide drinking water to the people of Karachi for the past 15 years.
Women’s Development Minister Shehla Raza said the department has been allocated Rs 94 million for the year 2022-23.
Dr. Lal Chand Ukrani of PPP said health facilities up to UC level have been provided in every district of Sindh. The NICVD network will be extended across Sindh. A liver transplant, a kidney transplant is done at the Ghambat Institute.
Speakers who took part in the discussion included Sanjay Parwani and Muhammad Hussain Khan of MQM-P; Dr. Seema Zia of PTI, Shahnawaz Jadoon, Dr. Imran Ali Shah, Malik Shehzad Awan; Nand Kumar Goklani of the GDA; and Shaheena Sher Ali, Sharmeela Farooqui, Imdad Pitafi, Gayan Chand, Zia Abbas, Tanzeela Qambrani and Sajid Jokhio from PPP. Later, the house was adjourned to Monday.
| Lyari deprived of water for many years by PPP-led Sindh government, says MMA lawmaker