Karachi - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the power of placing regulatory authorities under the concerned ministries lies with the Council of Common Interests (CCI), but surprisingly the prime minister has taken the decision himself by ignoring input given by the provincial governments.

“I would take up this issue with the prime minister and right now I am recording my protest .”

Talking to media just after receiving distinguished alumnus award and giving away Research Excellence Award at NED University here on Tuesday, the CM said that the subject of transfer of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to the concerned ministry had been put on the agenda of CCI’s meeting, but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had opposed it in writing and Sindh had also expressed serious reservations over it; therefore it was not taken up.

“Today I have learnt that five regulatory authorities, including OGRA, PTA, FAB, PPRA have been transferred and placed under the administrative control of their respective concerned ministries,” he said, and questioned, “When a ministry controls a regulatory authority, how will it be able to regulate its assignment /functions independently?”   He expressed the apprehension that the prime minister’s decision might lead to people seeking resolution of their problems in courts rather than approaching the regulatory authorities.

Murad said that right now he had recorded his protest against the decision through media. “I will also write a letter to the prime minister against his decision,” he announced.

Replying to a question, the chief minister brushed aside the impression of sending Sindh Police IG AD Khawaja on forced leave, adding that he had applied for the leave which he had approved. “As far as the issue of transferring an officer and posting another is concerned, it is the prerogative of the provincial government,” he said categorically. “The officers who are promoted to Grade B-21 are competent enough. I don’t promote them, but the selection board recommends their promotions and are approved by the prime minister,” he added.

Talking about the provincial Higher Education Commission (HEC), the chief minister said that he was going to make it more effective. “It is a new body and there are some issues with the federal government over it for which he is seeking the advice of other provinces.

This organisation will be made functional, effective so that it could play an important role in the promotion of higher education in the province,” he said, and added that he would take share of his province from the federal HEC. Replying to a question about Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Murad said that he was doing his work. “Let him say whatever he says about me, my government or our party. I don’t have much time to waste on unproductive issues,” he said.

The NED University had organised an impressive ceremony of awarding distinguished Alumnus Award to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah who had done his Bachelors of Engineering (BE) from there.

The vice chancellor of the university presented the award to the chief minister, and lauded his educational career saying he had not only shone his name, name of his family but the name of the university as well.

Addressing the gathering, the chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah recalled the days of his student life, the time he spent at hostel, canteen, with friends and teachers. “Those days were so beautiful and full of fun, enthusiasm and joy,” he said, and added that he had never been good at drawing, but his teacher not only taught him the subject but also infused in him the confidence for which “I shall always be thankful to him,” he said.

Remembering the canteen where he used to have his lunch and dinner, he said the lavishness of his lunch or dinner was always linked to the strength of his pocket. “No matter even if the strength of the pocket was weak, but life was full of joy,” he reminisced.

CM calls for interfaith

harmony

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that there is a dire need for educating people about the interfaith and sectarian harmony in the country.

This he said while talking to Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousuf who met him here at the CM House on Tuesday.

The federal minister told him that he had almost developed a consensus on delivering the same Friday sermon in the mosques, same timings for azans and prayers in every city.

“The ulemas are cooperating and further consultations are in progress,” he said. The minister further said that he had constituted Ulema and Mashaekh Council (UMC) in which religious leaders of all the sects were being inducted. “The council would play an important role in developing interfaith and sectarian harmony in the country,” he hoped. The chief minister assured him of his support and cooperation.