KARACHI - The Sindh Cabinet on Monday decided to continue consultation with the political parties on the draft of Sindh Local Government Law 2013 and then tabling it in Sindh Assembly for discussion and approval.

The provincial cabinet, which met with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in the chair at the CM Secretariat, also gave approval of the draft of Witness Protection Bill and tax exemption on import of machinery and other taxes for Karachi Circular Railway project.

It may be noted that Supreme Court of Pakistan while ordering the provinces to hold local government elections soon gave deadline for the provinces to make legislation on the LG law if necessary till August 15.

But the Sindh government has failed in implementing the verdict of the apex court. It decided to inform the Supreme Court that consultation is continued to make new local government law. Though, no briefing was made by any official, including the information minister, the Ministerial Committee formed in the last meeting of cabinet, briefed the CM and other members of the cabinet about the progress on draft of the new local government law 2013.

The committee, which is headed by Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro with other members, including Senior Education Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Local Government Minister Owais Muzaffar, Information Minister Sharjeel Memon and Works and Services Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, was assigned task to make draft of new LG law and hold consultation with the political parties of the province.

The cabinet decided to upload the draft of “Sindh Local Government Law 2013” on the website of Sindh government, so that the public can reach it and forward their suggestions through email.

The cabinet has also decided that the ministerial committee will meet the opposition parties in Sindh Assembly as well as nationalist groups of the province separately and handover the LG law draft to them.

The Sindh Cabinet took a decision in principle that next local government elections would be held on party basis.

Sindh Cabinet has also decided to initiate crackdown against manufacturing and sale of the raw-wine, ‘Mainpuri’, Gutka and other prohibited material in the province. This action would commence from Hyderabad district through Excise Police and Rangers.

Provincial cabinet also gave approval of the draft bill of “Witness Protection Law”, in which government is authorised to send the eye-witnesses of heinous crimes abroad so that their lives could be made safe and secure.

The cabinet also formed a committee headed by the information minister which will suggest proposals to ease the traffic problems at sensitive buildings of Sindh Secretariat and other offices.

The committee also directed the Chief Secretary to ensure flow of traffic system in Karachi.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Cabinet also gave approval to exempt provincial taxes for land availability and on import of machinery and other material for Karachi Circular Railway.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties have criticised the Sindh government and said the Sindh government is not sincere in finalising the LG law.

PML-F’s Sindh general secretary Imtiaz Shaikh has said that PPP’s Sindh government is not sincere for making amendments in the existing 1979 LG law. He said that despite several attempts, law minister and local government minister neither contacted them nor provided the draft of LG law to them.

He said the PML-F and the PML-N would devise joint strategy on the LG system.