Karachi - Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged the Sindh cabinet to improve its performance and remain more accessible to the people to resolve their issues, adding PPP government is meant to deliver more than any of its counterparts in the country. He was presiding over a meeting of Sindh cabinet here at Bilawal House today.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Manzoor Wassan, Mukesh Chawala and other ministers and special assistants to the chief minister attended the meeting.

The chief minister informed the meeting that the Sindh government had released Rs161 billion in three quarters of the current fiscal year, out of which Rs86 billion had been spent. “During the same period in the previous year Rs101 billion were released and Rs51 billion were spent,” he informed.

Briefing the meeting, the education minister informed that of 5,000 closed schools, Sindh government had reopened 2079 primary schools while 1,400 others had been found not viable as, what he said, puppet regimes of the past had established dozens of school buildings in smaller villages to appease cronies.

“Third party evaluation of the reopened schools is being carried out to ensure that these are fully functional while teachers’ training is also underway to improve primary education,” the minister elaborated.

To the question of garbage in Karachi, the minister concerned pointed out the hiccups in its removal, and assured Bilawal that the Sindh government was taking steps to ensure that Karachi emerged as the cleanest city in the region. “But cooperation from different tiers of the elected local bodies was required,” he asserted.

Minister for works and services informed the PPP chairman that the provincial government had completed construction of 2003 kilometer-long roads, while 41 major road schemes were underway and all the concerned staff had been directed to ensure quality of work and its timely completion.

Minister for culture said that Umerkot Fort had been restored in its original shape in a short time while renovation work on Kot Diji Fort was in progress.

About the historic and scenic Gorakh Hills in Dadu district, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that talks with the Asian Development Bank were in progress to build a spacious road for making access to the tourist resort easy. He said several small rest houses for the tourists had also been built but pointed out the need for construction of a big resort.

Minister for information technology pointed out that his department was working on websites of 44 departments and the data collection of provincial infrastructure was also continuing besides installation of security surveillance systems at hundreds of worship places of non-Muslims in the province.

The cabinet was informed that steps had been taken to boost the export of province’s famous Sindhri mangoes, as previously its exports were illegal in the international market.

Bilawal was further informed that Sindh government had increased the job quota for women from 5% to 15%, which was termed unprecedented in the history of the country.

The meeting was told that in the transport sector, Sindh Mass Transit Project had formally been approved while buses under Edhi Lines, Yellow Lines, Blue Lines and Red Lines would be on roads by the end of this year in phases. Under Peoples Service, 617 new buses under the public-private partnership are ready to ply on Karachi road by July.

Apprising about the performance of Health Department, the minister concerned said that liver transplantation was being done in Sindh while 12 vertical health programmes were also being run.

He lamented that Sindh government had tried to recruit 6,000 doctors to meet needs in rural and urban areas, but could not do so because of litigations.

The meeting was further informed that Minority Affairs Department was undertaking 550 schemes for non-Muslim communities and their worship places, which was unmatched in any province.

Earlier, addressing the Sindh cabinet, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked the cabinet members to work hard as he wanted every department to serve the masses and mitigate their sufferings.