KARACHI - The Sindh cabinet has demanded of the federal government to hand over powers of sales tax collection on services to the provinces. Giving a briefing to newsmen after the cabinet meeting held here on Tuesday under the chair of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the provincial Information Minister Shazia Marri said that it was decided that December 27 would be observed as public holiday in the province every year. She added the provincial government has sent an advice to federal government to declare the said day as the national holiday. The Information Minister said in the past the collection of Sales Tax constitutionally rested with the provinces but in 2001-02, this power was taken away from the provinces. At that time, PPP had raised its voice against this illegal measure because it was a clear usurpation of the right of provinces. It may be mentioned here that when Octroi/Zila Tax was abolished, it was announced that the provinces would have the powers to collect sales tax, which, however, was taken away by the federal govt. It was one of the major sources of income for the province. When her attention was drawn towards the announcement made by Sindh Home Department for removal of barricades erected in various localities of city in three days, the Information Minister said that such steps were being taken for improvement of law and order. "It was need of the hour to ascertain that whether these barricades were erected with the permission of legal authority or not, for this purpose the help of UC Nazims and concerned SHOs was being sought. After complete assessment, the illegal barricades will be removed", she added. Responding to a question about extension in the registration of licensed arms, Marri said that the process of weapons registration was underway. Certification and de-registration was being made at local police stations so that the concerned police officers would know that what sort of weapons were in their jurisdictions. Moreover, forensic test of the weapons would also be carried out to determine their kinds. She said after the completion of registration process, the number of weapons would be shared with the media. She further said that both the provincial and federal govts had issued weapon licenses in Sindh. The Information Minister added that the cabinet shared the information that some dealers were selling urea fertilizer in black-market in upper Sindh. "Taking strong notice of the issue, CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the DCOs to hold meetings with elected representatives and take strict action against those dealers involved in black marketing of urea", she said, adding that a meeting of DCOs would be convened soon and directives would be issued for strict implementation of the law in this regard. Secretary Information and Director General Information were also present on the occasion.