KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has come to the rescue of the rice growers in the province who suffered huge losses due to un-seasonal rains when he announced a relief package which included waiving off water charges, land tax and all other agricultural taxes and put off recovery of loans in the rice cultivating areas. He assured the rice growers that the government would buy all the rice produced in the province on fixed government rates as an additional step to alleviate the sufferings of the rice cultivators. He made these welcome announcements at the floor of the Sindh Assembly on its first working day of the new session here on Monday. All these announcements which were received well by the members of the assembly came in response to a point of order raised by Haji Munawwar Ali Abbasi. The MPA from Larkana has drew the attention of the house on behalf of the rice cultivators who had suffered hugely due to a number of reasons including heavy rains that caused damages to almost 50 per cent paddy crops and also harmed the standing wheat crop. The MPA said that PASSCO and TCP were buying only number one variety of rice leaving behind the number two rice. He urged the government to come to the rescue of growers. Upon which, the CM announced relief package for growers. He said that there was huge demand of Irri-6 rice not only in Pakistan but abroad also and it was decided that PASSCO would purchase the rice for which more than 150 procurements centres were set up. He said he had suggested that 300 centres should be established but unfortunately the winter rains caused damage to the paddy crop. Qaim said that keeping in view the grievances of growers, the government had decided to waive off all agricultural taxes and also put off recovery of loans in the rice cultivating areas to ameliorate the lot of the tillers of land. Sindh Minister Shoaib Bukhari, on a point of order, drew the attention of the House towards a fishing boat which has gone missing since January 12. He said that 11 fishermen of UC-6 Baldia Town, were on board the boat that went high seas for the catch. It was expected that they will return around January 22 but till date they did not return. He urged that a request should be made to the Marine and Navy for the search of fishermen as their family members and relatives were anxiously waiting for them. On this point, Sindh Minister for Fisheries Zahid Bhurgari informed the House that he has contacted Marine and Naval authorities for the search of fishermen and also made request that helicopter should be used for the search of missing fishing boat. He said that he had also contacted the federal government in this regard. PPP members Humera Alwani, on a point of order, said that except for Karachi, the government hospitals in all 23 districts of the province were lacking facilities of burn centres and the patients had to come to Karachi for treatment. She urged the government for setting up of burn centres in all the government hospitals. PPP legislator Nadeem Bhutto complained that on one hand our party raising slogans of "Roti, Kapra Aur Makan" for the poor while on the other old Goths were being removed under anti-encroachment drive. He said that Nawaz Goth which had a multilingual population, existed since 80s and was located in his constituency. The City government has served a notice on January 24 for its removal under anti encroachment campaign. He said that law and order situation would be created if the Goth was removed. Supporting viewpoint of Nadeem Bhutto, opposition NPP member Arif Mustafa Jatoi said that a resolution should be passed in the House on the issue. At this point Sindh Minister for Revenue Jam Saifullah Dharejo said that the issue was brought to his notice that City District Government Karachi (CDGK) had served notice and sought the help of Rangers and police for removal of encroachment. He said that the matter was in the notice of his ministry that five to six old Goths needed regularisation and that he had directed the CDGK to get permission from the Revenue Department before initiating any anti encroachment drive. He assured the House that he had directed the City government to stop the drive in the said Goth. Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani also held out assurance that no drive will be launched against the said Goth and all old Goths would be regularised. Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro informed the House that Sindh governor has give assent to the government bills, the Sindh Pubic Property (Removal of Encroachment) (Amendment) Bill, 2008 and the Sindh Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2008. The privilege motion of MPA Syed Javed Hussain Shah was deferred due to his absence from the house. Earlier, the House which was set in motion with Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in the chair, one and half hours late beyond the scheduled time of 10AM, completed the entire agenda in more than two hours proceeding. After completion of agenda the Speaker adjourned the house till Tuesday (today) morning.