Sindh cabinet unhappy over EOBI’s non-devolution


The Sindh cabinet members on Wednesday expressed their satisfaction over the devolution of the federal ministries to the provinces under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, but voiced their reservations over non-transference of the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Workers Welfare Board to the provinces, deciding to take up the issue in the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
The cabinet members met with Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah in chair and demanded the federal government to clear the outstanding dues of all the devolved ministries up to June 30. “We have reservations over non-transference of the EOBI and some other subjects to the provinces, and this issue will be taken up at the meeting of the CCI”, said Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon while briefing the media about the cabinet members’ meeting.
The cabinet members’ meeting was convened a day after the federal government gave the approval for transferring more federal ministries to the provinces under the third and final phase of the devolution process.
Provincial ministers and advisers belonging to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Awami National Party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-Functional and the National People’s Party attended the cabinet members’ meeting.
According to the information minister, briefings were given to the cabinet members, especially those ministers whose departments are being devolved from the Centre.
He said that the Sindh government is prepared to take over the devolved ministries after June 30, but it also wants to resolve all the issues pertaining to the devolution, including clearing the outstanding dues of the departments.
In this regard, he added, Chief Secretary Raj Muhammad Abbas has been asked to convene a meeting of all the administrative heads of the provincial departments to discuss the issues and furnish suggestions for the ministerial committee.
He said that the ministerial committee would make recommendations to the CM, who would take up the issues at the forthcoming meeting of the CCI.
Memon termed the devolution of the ministries to the provinces a historical achievement of the present government and the political parties, saying that the PPP would celebrate this victory.
According to him, all the political forces that had played their role in passing the historical 18th Constitutional Amendment would also be invited to join the celebrations.
Responding to a question regarding the flood situation, the minister said that Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo has briefed the cabinet members about the current condition.
Memon said that the position of the dykes in the province is satisfactory and the government is prepared to tackle any emergency situation due to flood.
He criticised the PML-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership for its policies, rejecting the demands for holding midterm elections in the country.
The PPP government has ruled for three-and-a-half years and would complete its tenure; therefore, the PML-N leadership should wait for the next elections, he added.
He also rejected the allegations made by the PML-N leadership regarding the Azad Kashmir elections.