Sindh won’t accept devolution without financial powers: CM

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KARACHI: The devolution of federal departments to the provinces under the 18th Amendment is being done without assigning financial powers that will be unacceptable, the Sindh chief minister said on Friday.
“The federal government wants to transfer the departments without financial powers, and the Sindh government will not withdraw from its constitutional rights,” Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said while presiding over a meeting held here to review progress on devolution of five departments from the federation to the provinces in the first phase.
According to an official handout, the CM was informed at the meeting that five departments were being transferred to Sindh province and other provinces from December 1 in the first phase, including Population Welfare, Zakat, Social Welfare, Youth Affairs and the Local Government.
“The transfer of these departments without assigning financial powers would be harmful for the provincial government,” Qaim said, adding that it would also be wrong to hand over only liabilities of these departments to the provinces. He directed provincial officials concerned to evolve a strategy in accordance with the law and constitution so that the government could apprise the federal government about its reservations at the forthcoming meeting to be held in Islamabad on the devolution process.
A committee was also formed in this regard. The meeting was also informed that the State Bank of Pakistan had cash reserves of Rs10 billion on account of Zakat collection and the amount should be distributed to those areas and provinces from where it was collected. The Sindh province should be given its due share on this account.
It was also informed that the Labor Ministry has an amount of Rs13 billion on account of Workers Welfare Fund, and Employees Old Age Benefit Institution had a handsome amount for labour welfare, which should also be distributed among the provinces according to ratio of labourers.