KARACHI (June 30): The Sindh Cabinet has unanimously approved repealing of The National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 to the extent of its applicability to the province of Sindh and decided to introduce the proposed amendment in the ordinance in the provincial assembly to approve it.
This decision was taken in the meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at the CM House today. The provincial ministers, chief secretary Rizwan Memon, advisors and special assistants to the chief minister and concerned secretaries attended the meeting.
The cabinet discussed the agenda which includes Anti-Corruption Laws, ban on sugar mills; K-IV water supply project, cabinet decision, resolution passed by provincial assembly regarding load-shedding.
ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS: The cabinet was informed that the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, enacted in pursuance of the proclamation of emergency of October 14, 1999 and PCO of October 1999 was also made applicable to the provinces and was subsequently, included in schedule VI of the constitution along with Local Government Ordinance 2001 and Police Order 2002 in order to prevent the provinces from repealing or amending the laws.
The cabinet was told that the proclamation of emergency of October 14, 1999 and PCO were declared to have been made without lawful authority by the parliament and six schedule to the constitution was omitted under 18th Constitutional Amendment.
The meeting was told that the federation legislated on three subjects, “Local Government; Public Order & Police and Measures to combat Corruption” and offences with respect to provincial subjects” under an unlawful Emergency and the provinces have already repealed or amended Local Government Ordinance 2001 and Police Order 2002.
The meeting was told that emergency legislation on any provincial subject by the parliament ceases to have any effect after six months of lifting of emergency under Article 232(5) and 234(6) of the constitution and measures to combat corruption being concurrent subject in the constitution of 1956 now exclusively vests in the provinces not being mentioned in federal legislative list of the constitution and the executive and legislative authority of the province fully extended to the offences with respect to provincial subjects.
Under the entry 55 of the Federal Legislative List Part-I of the constitution, the federal government can establish courts on the matters enumerated only in the federal legislative list and the subjects of anti-corruption or offences with respect to provincial subjects not mentioned in the said list, establishing any such courts as provided under National Accountability Ordinance 1999 extending their jurisdiction and powers to the provinces neither was nor is consonance with the constitution and amounts to exercising the executive authority in the province by an authority or government other than the lawfully elected provincial government.
The cabinet was briefed that under the constitution, the provincial assembly is competent to repeal the relevant laws enacted by parliament to the extent of province of Sindh or they cease to have effect after six months of lifting of emergency respectively.
In the light of briefing given to the cabinet by Law Minister Zialul Hassan Lanjar and Advocate General Zamir Ghumro it was unanimously decided to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and present the draft bill in the assembly.
BAN ON SUGAR MILLS: The cabinet was told that there was a large number of sugar mills in the province, therefore no more NOC or permission may be accorded to install another sugar mills in the province.
It was pointed out that due to installation of more sugar mills the cotton growers are continuously switching over to sugar cane crop. This not only disturbs historical cropping pattern but affects the textile industry of the country. The Information Minister, Syed Nasir Shah talking told the media that the Punjab government has already imposed ban on installation of new sugar mills.
The cabinet members after unanimously approved imposition of ban on issuance of new licenses to installation sugar mills.
K-IV Project: Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro briefing the cabinet on K-IV project said that it is a Rs24.7 billion project, including Rs15.2 billion package-A and Rs9.5 billion Package-B. He added that the package –A is for civil work, means construction of canal, syphons and conduits while Package –B is for mechanical works such as procurement of machinery and filter plants etc.
Mr Shoro told the cabinet that the work on Package –A is being carried out by FWO while the agreement for package-B is yet to be signed. He added that cost of the package-B has escalated by Rs3.8 billion for which he needed the approval of the cabinet.
chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the the escalation cost of the project of Package-B is within 15 percent which is permissible as per ENCEC rules. He added that he would talk to the federal government to share the financial burden.
TENURE OF CIVIL SERVANTS: The cabinet was told that the tenure of an officer cannot be included in the Rules of Business but it is in the rules of business of the provincial government. It is given in the Sindh Civil Servants Act- Section-4. The transfer and posting of a civil servant is the prerogative of the provincial government.
On the chief minister constituted a committee under minister law to examine the proposed amendment and present it in the next meeting.
RESOLUTION ON LOADSHEDDING: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh assembly resolution was about to provide tariff differential support to captive power plant in Sindh.
He said that industrial, commercial and residential consumers of electricity are suffering due to an acute power shortage. Therefore, “his government wants to take some urgent steps to alleviate such sufferings of people of Sindh,” he said.
He said that the new captive power plants have been lying idle due to the decision of NEPRA to fix tariff for such plants which made them economically non-viable. He added that it is expedient to provide tariff differential support to owners of such captive power plants, in order to incentivize them to operate their idle power plants to increase the available electrical energy in Sindh, thereby alleviating the sufferings of the consumers in Sindh.
The cabinet approved the proposal and recommended to present the draft bill in the next session of assembly.