- Anti-dowry law proposed in meeting of Sindh cabinet limits dowry to Rs 50, 000
- Transport minister tells cabinet meeting that Karachi faces shortfall of 4,143 buses
- Info minister says govt wants to give Footpath School a building as gesture of goodwill
KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Wednesday after pondering over a proposed anti-dowry law in the province passed the matter to a committee to make the law less stringent, thus easily “implementable”.
The Women Development Department floated the Sindh Dowry Act 2017 to restrict the practice of giving or taking dowries in the province, in the cabinet meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at New Secretariat, Karachi.
Under the proposed law, an extravagance for dowry, presents and bridal gifts in connection with marriages in the province have been fixed at Rs50,000.
The draft law stated that no person shall give or take or abet the giving or taking of dowry exceeding Rs 50,000. No person shall demand directly or indirectly from the family or other relatives of bride any dowry.
The draft went on to state, “Six months punishment will be given to those who insult brides in the name of dowry,” the proposed law states, adding that no property given as dowry to the bride shall be displayed in any ceremony related to marriage. “Any person violating this law will be kept behind bars for not less than one year,” the bill said.
On this, the chief minister said that the proposed law would be difficult to implement, if passed by the assembly. “We have to make such laws which could be implemented in letter and spirit,” he said, adding that dowry or extravagance in connection with marriage is a social problem for which they have to educate people of the society.
The proposal was also opposed by Industries Minister Manzoor Wassan and P&D Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani.
BUS RAPID TRANSPORT (BRT) PROJECTS:
The cabinet meeting also approved an amendment in the Sindh Public Procurement Rule (SPPRA) Rule 47(3) to undertake the solicitation process of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Blue Line Infrastructure Component in an expeditious manner.
Under the new amendment, a pre-qualification exemption has been made. Any firm can directly participate in the bidding process following this amendment.
Briefing the cabinet about traffic issues in the city, Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah said: “There are 4.137 million vehicles registered in Karachi and currently 6,457 buses of various sizes are plying 192 routes as against the requirement of 10,600 buses.”
The chief minister replied that it showed a shortfall of 4,143 buses and added that in Karachi, there are 45 persons as against a single bus seat, while in Bombay the ratio is 12 persons per seat and in Hon Kong eight persons per seat.
“We have to reduce this gap by providing efficient, comfortable and affordable transport facilities to the people of this megalopolis city of Karachi,” the CM said.
The transport minister said that the number of contract carriages/buses is 2,715 and 80 per cent buses are over 20 years old.
On this, CM Murad said: “It means 5, 400 vehicles are 20 years old and are not only causing travelling problems but contributing to the environmental hazards as well. “This is why the Sindh government is especially focussing on fixing the issue,” he said.
The cabinet was told that 6,078 private vehicles and 22,476 motorcycles were being registered every month leading to more traffic congestion, causing more pollution, increasing traffic density, and increasing vehicle operating cost.
Transport Secretary Transport Naveed Awan said that the provincial government had started some BRT projects and work on Abdul Sattar Edhi Orange Line was in progress, and simultaneously the chief minister is keen to start Blue Line BRT project.
He said that the Transport and Mass Transit Department had received an unsolicited proposal from a consortium of EA Consulting to design, build, finance, operate and transfer of 10.1 km long Blue Line BRT project. There would be a 27-year-concession period which includes two years of construction and 25 years of operation and maintenance.
‘SINDH GOVT NOT SUPPORTING RAO ANWAR’:
Later, talking to reporters, Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah denied the allegations that the provincial government is protecting suspended SSP Malir Rao Anwar, saying, “The Sindh government is not supporting Anwar. No one is above the law,” the minister said.
He said that the matter of ex-SSP Anwar was not part of the cabinet; therefore, it was not discussed in the cabinet meeting either.
GOVT WANTS TO HELP FOOTPATH SCHOOL:
Replying to a question, the info minister said that the government did not want to close down the `Footpath School’, but through Sindh Education Foundation MD Nafisa Shah, the chief minister had offered to give a building to the management of footpath school.
He said that the chief minister was worried about the street children receiving education under the open skies.
Moreover, the chief minister also offered to give a luncheon to footpath school’s students through Selani Trust, stipend, stationery, uniform, including shoes and socks, he said, adding, “We appreciate the efforts of footpath school, [by] this we are offering them to become a partner with the Sindh government,” he said.