Sindh cabinet approves new agriculture, youth policy

0
106
  • Two new universities to be established in province

  • Cabinet approves name for prosecutor-general

KARACHI: The Sindh Cabinet meeting was held on Monday under the supervision of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in which some important decisions were taken including the approval of new agriculture policy, new youth policy and also the establishment of two new universities in the province, namely the Shaikh Ayaz University in Shikarpur and Begum Nusrat Bhutto Women University in Sukkur.

The new Agriculture Policy was made after employing a series of background studies in the areas of macroeconomic factors such as poverty, gender, climate change, value chain enhancement, resource use efficiency, nutrition and fiscal space utilization in order to make it more efficient. Consultation with farmers was also done before finalising the policy.

The agriculture policy has been made for the upcoming years and last until 2030, the same as internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations.

However, the various legal, regulator, institutional and expenditure-related changes set out in the policy would be implemented over a period of two years, 2018-19 to 2019-20.

Sharing some of the facts with the cabinet related to agriculture, the CM said that Sindh accounts for 18 percent of the country’s land area, 16 percent of its total cropped area, and contributes about 23 percent to national agriculture economy.

He said that the sector has unfortunately not been able to perform to its potential. He added that output was low in 2015 and 2016 which led agriculture growth being negative for the first time in the country.

Home & Agriculture Minister Sohail Siyal gave details of the action plan under the new agriculture policy which included the matters such increasing credit flows into crop, livestock and fisheries and for associated rural off-farm activities, development t of new instruments such as warehouse receipts and building linkages formal with informal sources of credit, simplifying the procedure for land use, land transfer and lease for establishment of rural enterprise, reforming the legal and regulatory system governing agriculture and livestock marketing and to redesign the price support system and others.

The cabinet, particularly Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, emphasised on the need of giving more subsidies to the agriculture sector. The cabinet after thorough discussion approved the new agriculture policy.

YOUTH POLICY:

The Sindh Youth Policy is the central tool to systematically integrate, implement and evaluate all youth development work in the province. It aims at building a youth which is economically sound, socially progressive and politically and politically engaged and who possess appropriate skills and tolerant values of good citizens. Like agriculture policy, it has been formed in consultation with all stakeholders, experts and academicians.

The youth policy is based on taking several steps and measures such as the establishment of a youth development commission, establishment of district structure of youth affairs department, centralised information system on youth development and job data base, formation of job bank, establishment of Institute Placement Bureaus (IPBs) through IT interface, establishment of youth venture capital fund, annual innovation competitions, formation of small incubation centers at the universities, entrepreneurship training at universities by private sector, crash programme of technical education,; youth led mass awareness campaign, devise models of elected student councils, exposure trips, reactivation of students union and reactivation of boys and girls guides at school and such others. The cabinet discussed various aspects of the policy and approved it.

TWO UNIVERSITIES:

The cabinet also to upgraded the Shikarpur Campus of Shah Abdul Latif University to give it a status of a full-fledged university. The new university has been named after the name of Shaikh Ayaz, a renowned poet and educationist from Shikarpur. The cabinet approved the draft of Shaikh Ayaz University, Shikarpur Act, 2018, and referred to the Sindh assembly for further approval.

The cabinet also approved to establish Begum Nusrat Bhutto Women University draft Bill, 2018. The university will be established with a cost of Rs2710.6 million in Sukkur. The land for the university was received by the government in the form of donation near Arts Council, Sukkur and its compound wall has been constructed.  The construction work is in progress and its Vice-Chancellor Parveen Munshi has been appointed to look after the establishment work. The approved draft bill has been referred to Sindh assembly.

APPOINTMENT OF NEW PROSECUTOR GENERAL:

The cabinet approved the appointment of Ayaz Tunio as the new prosecutor general. In the last cabinet meeting, Fiaz-ul-Hassan was appointed but his notification was stopped as his age was short of the required age of 45 years.

REGULARISATION OF NTS PASS TEACHERS:

The Sindh Assembly had earlier passed a bill regarding the regularisation of NTS pass teachers appointed on a contract basis and had sent the summary to Sindh Governor on February 26, 2018, for his assent. However, the governor had returned the bill with the observations that the contractual appointments of teachers under the policy must address the issue on non-availability of teachers at union council and taluka (district) levels or else the required objective of the bill to revive the teacher deprived schools of far-flung areas of Sindh would not be achieved.

The cabinet after addressing the observations made by the Governor referred the bills back to the assembly to pass it again. The cabinet decided that the teachers’ transfer/posting would be made in such as way that no school remains deprived of a teacher.

PILOT PROJECT OF 10 BUSES:

The Transport Department moved a project for the approval of the cabinet regarding fare slab for the operation of AC buses on intracity routes. Transport Minister Nasir Shah told the cabinet that the fare has been proposed in consultation with all the stakeholders at Rs20 for less than five kilometers, Rs30 for five to 15 kilometers and Rs40 for 15 and above kilometers. The changes were approved by the cabinet.

SINDH SPORTS BOARD:

The cabinet also made some amendments to the Sindh Sports Board. Earlier, it was headed by the governor but now it would be chaired by the chief minister while Sports minister would be its vice-chairman.