KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the proposal of allocating seven percent funds from federal divisible for the security arrangement of CPEC – related projects and for the development of Fata and other areas is unconstitutional and would establish a wrong precedent, therefore all the provinces should oppose the proposal collectively.

This he said while discussing NFC issue with Punjab Finance Minister Dr Aisha Ghous who called on him at the CM House yesterday.

Murad said that the proposal of the federal government to allocate three percent funds from divisible pool for CPEC-related security force and four percent for the development of Fata, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir is unreasonable and against the constitution. The divisible pool is only for distribution of collected funds amongst the provinces.

It may be noted that the federal government has proposed all the provinces to allow an overall seven percent allocation funds from the divisible pool for security of CPEC projects and the development of Fata, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Sindh chief minister is of the opinion that the federal government has already allocated one percent funds from the divisible pool for maintenance of law and order in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and now they are seeking the consent of the provinces to allocate three percent for the security of CPEC projects and four percent for the development of Fata, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltitistan. This is an unconstitutional demand and cannot be met.

He said that the share of all the four provinces in the divisible pool comes to 57.5 percent and the remaining 42.5 goes to the federal government. The Sindh government has already raised a force of 2000 ex-army men to provide security to the projects and employees of CPEC projects.

Apart from it, the Sindh government has spent Rs300 billion on maintenance of law and order right from 2010-11 to 2015-16. “The federal government did not bother to share a single penny and now they are pressing the provinces to give funds from their shares,” he said and added that it was quite unacceptable.

“I would request to the Punjab government, KPK and Balochistan to develop consensus and oppose the proposal,” he said. Punjab Finance Minister Dr Aisha Ghous assured the chief minister Sindh that she would support him.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also said that the provincial governments should have the right to collect sales tax on goods and then deposit the same with the federal government for onward distribution among the provinces according to their agreed share.

“We have prepared the case and the Punjab government should also make a similar case so that it would be fight out in the next NFC meeting,” he said. The Punjab finance minister also supported Sindh.

He said that unilateral at source deduction of wealth tax from the share of Sindh government is another illegal act. The deduction is made purely on presumptions. The federal government before making at source deduction should reconcile the figures with Sindh government.

The finance minister said that the reservations and grievances of the Sindh government are genuine and she would also support Sindh. The chief minister also said that he would take other provinces into confidence on these issues.

–orders removal of encroachments

KARACHI - Sindh chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah approving Rs45 million for preparing feasibility of Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) has ordered removal of encroachment from the route so that work could be started on the project through CPEC.

He issued this order yesterday while presiding over a meeting on KCR at New Secretariat. The meeting was attended by Minister, Transport Syed Nasir Shah, and ACS (Dev) M. Waseem, Secretary, Transport Taha Farooqi, Secretary, Finance Hassan Naqvi, DS Railways Nisar Memnon and others.

Briefing the chief minister, Transport Minister Nasir Shah said that the KCR project has a total length of 43 kilometers of which 13.43 kilometers is on railways main line and 29.69 km on the KCR loop.

DS Railways Karachi Nisar Memon briefing the chief minister on encroachment said that total land required for KCR project is 360 acres, of which 260 acres is about Pakistan Railways land and 100 is on the main line.

He added that the area under encroachment is 67, including 47 acres on KCR loop and 20 acres on the main line. He said that 4653 houses have been constructed on the encroached land and 2997 are other establishments. He said around 20 percent right of way of KCR is under encroachment.

The project can only be implemented if encroachment is removed from its route.

Giving details of the encroachment on KCR loop section, he said that at Wazir Mansion 29.28 of KCR are under encroachment, Wazir Mansion to Baldia 0.82 acres, near Orangi Nala 1.91 acres, Oragni to Nazimabad 1.44 acres, Nazimabad-Liaquatabad 2.36, Liaquatabad to Gilani 3.16 acres, Gilani to Urdu College 2.05, Urdu Colege to University 4.16 acres University to Depot Hill 0.91 acres.

The chief minister was also said that the encroachment on KCR main line comes to 20.647 acres which include Tower to Karachi City 0.46 acres, Karachi City to Karachi Cantt 1.67 acres, Karachi Cantt to Chanisar halt 5.837 acres, Chanesar halt to Departure Yard 11.77 acres and Departure yard to Drigh Road 2.63 acres.  

The chief minister directed Commissioner Karachi Aijaz Khan to hold a meeting with all the deputy commissioners and work out a plan to remove encroachment from the KCR route and submit report with in seven days. He also directed Secretary Finance to release Rs45 million for conducting feasibility of KCR.

He said that the feasibility of KCR has to be submitted in JCC for taking it in CPEC projects. He directed ACS (Dev) M Waseem to coordinate with federal government t for issuing Sovereign guarantee.

 

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Jan-2017 here.