KARACHI - The public-private partnership board in its 27th meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah approved different projects of education, health, agriculture and infrastructure to be launched.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, provincial Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho, Minister for Education Syed Sardar Shah, Minister for Agriculture Mohammad Ismail Rahu, Minister for Local Governmnet Saeed Ghani, Minister for Transport Owais Shah, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro and other concerned secretaries.

The school education department presented an case of entering into a management contract with credible Education Management Organization (EMO) from the private sector to manage and improve the functioning of Teacher Training Institute, Hussainabad Karachi by introducing innovations, modernizing the education system, addressing management gaps, maintaining and upgrading the institute’s building and facilities.

The chief minister said that only the punctuality of teachers in their school was not enough but the teachers must be professional enough to take the class. “We have to strengthen and improve our teachers training institutes in partnership with the private sector,” he said.

He said that the private management which would be selected through competition process would have the authority to appoint professional trainers for teachers’ training. He added that the government would pay the salaries of the teachers and others staff but the private partner would have to run the training institute on professional basis.

The PPP board decided to complete contract out process on merit basis and hand over the training institute to private partner. Secretary Education Qazi Shahid Parvez presented another project of Sindh Basic Education Programme under which Sindh government and USAID constructed 25 schools in the flood affected areas of the province. The Sindh education department has decided to operate these schools through PPP by well-reputed Education Management Organisations (EMO). The organisations have been selected through competitive process, therefore the policy board approved to issue Letter of Award (LOA) and signing of contract.

The PPP board also discussed handing over of 37 schools of Islamkot to Thar Foundation. The chief minister said that the provincial government was a major partner of Thar Foundation. Therefore, handing over of 37 schools of education department to Thar Foundation would not be a big issue. The board approved hiring of professional Transaction Advisor/ Consultant for the project.

The health department presented an item in the meeting and said with the assistance of German Development bank four state of art Regional Blood Centers (RBC), Sukkur, Jamshoro, Shaheed Benazirabad and Karachi have been established. These RBC have been contracted out to private partners through a proper procedure.  The RBC Jamshoro and Sukkur have been given to Indus Hospital and Sukkur Blood and Drug Donating Society while the RBC Karachi was being given to Dr Ziauddin Hospital and RBC Shaheed Benazirabd to Fatmid Foundation. The PPP policy board approved handing over of the RBC to private partners.

The PPP policy board in a separate decision directed the National Institute of Child Health to extend safety and security contract of its a private partner and invite fresh bids for the purpose.

The District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ) Badin is being run by Indus Hospital on PPP mode. The PPP policy board approved to give one time grant of Rs1.08 billion to the hospital so that its necessary requirements of equipment and building works could be done.

Similarly, Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge Project was also presented in the PPP policy board. The Chief Minister said that Sindh was nearly a bisected by River Indus with a large population living on both sides of the river. He added that Ghotki which was an emerging industrial area was on the one side and Kandhkot located on proposed Pak-China Economic Corridor was on the other.

The meeting was told that the distance between Kandhkot and Ghotki via Guddu Barrage was 151 km. A bridge connecting Ghotki and Kandhkot would reduce this distance from 151 km to 30 km.

The process to construct it on PPP mode has almost been completed, therefore the board accorded approval to finalise the process.

The Agriculture department presented an item of establishing Mango Processing Unit at Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas road. The unit would have the facility of mechanized washing and grading, value added segment, blast chillers, packaging and labelling, Micro-Biology and quality control lab etc. It would cost over Rs1.5 billion.

The policy board directed the department to re-tender the project and select the successful bidder.  Besides, some technical aspects of Malir Expressway were also discussed in the meeting and approved them. Seven bidders have already filed their technical proposals.  The meeting also approved to invite fresh bids for BRT Blue Line Infrastructure project.