Ministers also complain of bad governance
KARACHI: While participating in the general discussion on the budget 2012-13 in the Sindh Assembly on Saturday, even some ministers questioned governance by the provincial government.
Stressing the need to set up monitoring teams of elected representatives to oversee development schemes, they said the bureaucracy, which had failed even to utilise a large portion of the last year’s budget, could not properly use the huge budget of Rs577.98 billion.
On Saturday, the 7th day of general discussion on the budget, 18 more lawmakers spoke till 5.40pm, when the chair called it a day to reassemble at 9.30am on Monday.
Revenue Minister Jam Mehtab Dhar, recalling the attitude of the bureaucracy, said that in Ghotki some government functionaries were arrested for their involvement in pilfering millions of rupees from funds for hepatitis but later they were released.
He said education in the public sector had been ruined. He said in his tehsil 58 schools were lying closed and despite his having reminded after becoming the minister, he failed to get any response from the department during the last four years.
Similarly, he said, a gang of official was involved in collecting money released as the sanctioned new expenditures of schools, taking no interest in making the institutions operational.
The minister also complained that instead of being appointed from local populations, peons for schools were sent from other areas in violation of the recruitment policy.
Sports minister Dr Muhammad Ali Shah said he was shocked to see the budget allocation for sports in which only 0.2 per cent funds were allocated, lesser than last year’s. He said law and order could only improve if youths were involved in
Khwaja Izharul Hasan of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement highlighted the need for close coordination between the law-enforcement agencies and the National Database and Registration Authority to stem terrorism and extortion and improve law and order.
Minister for power and energy Shazia Marri pointed out that besides the Rs36 million allocation for the development of the energy sector, the government was working on different schemes, including the Thar coal power project, windmill and hydel power projects, to produce energy to overcome the shortage of electricity.
Archeology minister Rafique Ahmad Engineer recalled various development schemes for Lyari. He also demanded action against those responsible for firing on the participants of a peaceful ‘Love Sindh’ rally in Lyari last month.
Minister Shoaib Bokhari of the MQM said that instead of allocating funds for new development schemes, funds be provided to complete the ongoing schemes.
Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that during the previous 13 years of the autocratic rule doors of employment remained closed on youths in Sindh, but the PPP government besides recruiting them against vacancies in different departments had initiated schemes to reduce unemployment.
Minister for religious affairs Abdul Haseeb of the MQM said he would sincerely greet the finance minister if benefits of the budget trickled down to the peasants and common people.
He also asked the chief minister to upgrade the police post in Shershah to police station as was promised by him and make foolproof arrangements to protect the traders of the Shershah market.
Marvi Rashdi of the PML-F said the police had failed to deliver and as such their allocation amount be reduced and an increase should be linked to their improved performance.
The other who took part in the discussion included Waseem Ahmad, Makhdoom Jamil-uz-Zaman, Abdul Haq Bhurt, Zahid Bhurgari, Rai Bozdar, Rafique Bhanban and Minister Muzaffar Ali Shujra.
Earlier when the house was called to order at 11.am, Shahid Thaeem, elected in the by-election on the seat that had fallen vacant with the death of Abdul Salam Thaeem, was administered the oath by Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza.