‘Karachi getting step-motherly treatment’


Development funds are being released for the uplift schemes of Karachi and the voters of the mega city are being compelled to think that they are being punished for giving vote to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), complained MQM lawmaker Muhammad Hussain Khan on the floor of Sindh Assembly on Thursday.

He was speaking on his call attention notice regarding non-release of budgetary allocated funds against various schemes in Karachi for the financial year 2014-15.

He said Karachi was being meted out a step-motherly treatment. He said the Sindh government was releasing funds for the schemes of not only PPP ministers, MNA and MPAs, but even its office-bearers. He also presented a list in this regard according to which funds were released for the schemes of the PPP men who were not even assembly members. He said the government was not releasing funds for the schemes of MQM lawmakers in Karachi.

However, Sindh Minister for Finance Murad Ali Shah refuted this claim and said the Sindh government was releasing funds for the schemes of Karachi. He said there were not schemes of PPP lawmakers or office-bearers. However, he said, as their government was a political government, their different leaders were looking after development schemes in their respective areas. He said 33-34 percent funds allocated for Karachi had already been released.

The leader of the opposition Muhammad Shaharyar Khan Mahar tabled a privilege motion that despite passing of a resolution of Sindh Assembly, the government of Sindh had not yet formed a committee on the issue of drought in Thar Desert.

Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah apologised for the delay and announced that the committee was not formed and announced. He said the committee would start its work soon and present its report before the assembly. He requested the mover to withdraw his privilege motion. On the government assurance, the mover did not further press his motion.

Muhammad Hussain Khan of the MQM tabled an adjournment motion to discuss difficulties faced by citizens of district West Karachi due to shortage of water. However, the government side opposed adjourning the business of the house and on voting the House did not grant permission to discuss the adjournment motion.

On this issue of non-release of salaries of local government employees, the leader of the opposition Muhammad Shaharyar Khan Mahar alleged that he had knowledge that Local Government Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon was demanding heavy bribes from TMOs. Reacting to this, Memon said he had information that Muhammad Shaharyar Khan Mahar was demanding bribes from them instead.

Memon’s statement on the previous day that majority of the news published by newspapers were not correct also came under fire as PML-N MPA Liaquat Jatoi said that he wanted to table an adjournment motion on this important and sensitive issue. However, Memon reiterated that many news published by the newspapers were wrong.

A government bill, No 40/2014 and The Sindh Disabled Persons (Employment and rehabilitation) Bill 2014 was introduced in the House, while consideration on the Govt Bill 38/2014 The Sindh Allied Health Professional Council Bill 2014 was deferred. However, the chair announced that the Sindh governor had given assent to 13 bills.

Three short notice questions were raised and answered by the ministers. Later, the chair adjourned the house till Friday, 10am.