KARACHI - With the increasing threats and attacks on police and Rangers, the Sindh Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a bill into law.

The law will allow the law enforcement agencies to procure latest weapons, bombproof vehicles and other material by putting existing procurement rules for one year.

However, the government benches passed another bill of Sindh Building Control Authority into the law which will enable the government to take the powers of master planning of cities and towns back from Karachi metropolitan/district governments amid dissenting vote of the opposition benches.

The House, which commenced at 11:43am against the scheduled time of 9:30am on Friday with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair, witnessed smooth proceeding in the provincial legislature.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro moved a motion seeking permission of the House to table “Sindh Emergency Procurement Bill, 2014” as supplementary business, was approved unanimously.

He said the police and other law enforcement agencies would be empowered with latest weapons, bombproof vehicles and other material to vigorously combat to eliminate terrorists and other criminals in the City.

He clarified that the permission of procurement on emergency basis is being given to the LEAs for specific period of one year with a clear objective to ensure success in the ongoing targeted operation.

The new law will allow the security forces including Sindh Police, Prison Police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary to procure the equipment on emergency basis. The rules of Sindh Public Procurement Authority will not affect the procurement, he added. All the opposition parties including MQM, PML-N, PML-F and PTI supported the bill, emphasising the government to ensure transparency in procurement.

Opposition leader Faisal Sabzwari of MQM supported the bill, suggesting the treasury benches to constitute a committee of the House to act as watchdog in this regard.

PML-N’s parliamentary leader Irfanullah Marwat also supported the step of the government. After the brief speeches, the House passed the bill unanimously.

Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro moved a motion seeking introduction and consideration of ‘The Sindh Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2014,’ which was approved with majority.

Opposition leader Faisal Sabzwari and Khawaja Izharul Hassan of MQM opposed the bill, saying instead of devolving the powers to the third tier of government, the Sindh government has further curtailed the powers of local governments and district governments which is violation of the Article 140-A. They said the provincial government has even snatched the powers of cleaning and managing the sewerage which showed that PPP government is not ready to hold the local government elections.

PML-N’s Irfanullah Marwat said his party could not support the bill in haste. He suggested the government to refer it to the special committee to make it further better. The suggestion was seconded by the PML-F’s lawmakers.

However, Dr Sikandar Mandhro and information minister said the amendment in the Sindh Building Control Ordinance 1979 is aimed at establishing a centralised Master Plan Department at provincial level for better town planning in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of the province. However, the House passed the bill into law with majority amid dissenting voice from the opposition benches.