Sindh cabinet opposes privatization of PIA, Steel Mills, Larkhra power plant


KARACHI: Sindh Cabinet on Monday resolved to strongly oppose the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) and Lakhra Cola Power Plant (LCPP).

The Cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Sah at the 7th Floor of New Secretariat.The chief minister said that PSM workers are starving for non-payment of their salaries. The federal government deliberately turned the once profit-making organization of steel mill into a hub of losses, the CM added.

The same has been done with PIA, he said. “We are very much clear that the land of PSM would automatically return to provincial government if it is privatized,” he said and adding that the federal government would have to safeguard the interest of the workers of PIA and LCPP. The Sindh government would resist their privatization, he said.

The cabinet unanimously authorized the chief minister to give a clear message of the cabinet to the federal government.

The agenda of the cabinet included draft `The Sindh Police (transfer, Posting & Tenure) Rules 2017, draft law regarding Public Sector Universities of Sindh, Amendment in the Charter of Ziauddin University, Sindh Coal Authority Rules 2017, Sindh Nooriabad gas fired power project, revised amendment to Sindh Mining Concession Rules 2002, delegation of powers to determine the composition of Mines Committee, draft legislation regarding Sindh Ruet-e-Hilal Act 2017, amendment in the Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, The Sindh Tourism Development Corporation Employees (Services) Bye-Laws, 2017, The Sindh Employees Social Security (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Regularization of Contract veterinary doctors under district-wise veterinary service programme.

The police rules were discussed in details and finally, it was agreed that since the matter is subjudice in the Supreme Court, the cabinet needs time till the appeal of Sindh government will be decided.

The cabinet discussed the draft law regarding Public Sector Universities of Sindh and approved it. Under the new draft law, the appointment of vice-chancellor, deans and pro-vice-chancellor would be made by the chief minister and the governor being chancellor would confer honorary degrees.

The appointment of the registrars and controller of examinations would be made by the syndicate on the recommendation of the selection committee. The cabinet approved the draft law and decided to send it to the standing committee for higher education.

The amendment in the charter of Ziauddin University and the Rules of Sindh Coal Authority, 2017, were also approved.

The cabinet was told that the Nooriabad Power Project was operating at its full capacity and it was supplying 100 MW of electricity to K-Electric. The cabinet after going through the presentation given by Energy Secretary Agha Wasif approved some amendments in Gas Supply Agreement of Sindh Nooriabad Power Company Pvt Ltd. The amendments were purely technical to meet the requirements of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.

The cabinet also discussed the revised amendment to Sindh Mining Concession Rules, 2002 and approved it. The presentation to the cabinet was given by Secretary Mines & Minerals Shams Soomro. The cabinet was told that the Sindh Mining Concession Rules were framed in 2002, but there was a lack of clarity in the existing definition of the licensing authority. The licensing powers were given to secretary Mines & Mineral and the minister has been made appellate authority. The cabinet approved the revised amendment.

Secretary Zakat & Usher & religious Affairs Riaz Soomro while briefing the cabinet about legislation on Ruet-e-Hilal said that in order to maintain unanimity on all religious occasions nationwide and regulate Ruet-e-Hilal arrangements, the federal government has prepared a draft law. They have requested the provincial governments to pass a resolution thereby allowing the federal government to legislate on their behalf for Ruet-e-Hilal. The other provincial assemblies have already passed such resolution, therefore Sindh assembly may also pass the same resolution. The cabinet approved the proposal and directed the Zakat & Religious affairs department to submit the resolution in the assembly.