KARACHI - Sindh government has finally finalised distribution of total 34 Standing Committees of the provincial legislature and retaining the chairmanship of 18 committees with it.

The four opposition parties including MQM, PML-F, PML-N and PTI are likely to get 10, three, two and one committees respectively according to their representation in the House.

The Standing Committees of Sindh Assembly have powers to oversee the performance of the government departments as well as prepare recommendations for the annual budget of the province.

With the support of majority 92 members in the House of 168 members, the PPP has decided to retain the chairmanship of majority of 18 standing committees including the important ministries like finance, planning, irrigation and agriculture. The PPP is determined to keep the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee with it.

Talking to The Nation, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro said, “Now the ball is in the court of the opposition parties to make the committees functional as it depends on the parties when they conveyed the names of the chairmen and members for the committees.” He announced that the election agenda would be made part of the Sindh Assembly session on February 21 (tomorrow).

In the total strength of 168 MPAs, the PPP has a support of 92 members. The remaining 74 MPAs belong to opposition parties including MQM with 51 MPAs, PML-F with 11, PML with 10 and PTI has a support of four members.

Mandhro said there was no legal binding on the government to give the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee to the opposition leader so the provincial government had taken decision to retain the slot of chairmanship.

MQM’s parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly, Sardar Ahmed told The Nation that there is no hope of allotting the chairmanship of PAC to his party’s opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, Faisal Sabzwari as PPP government wanted to retain the slot with itself.

However, reiterating his party’s demand, he said they would again raise demand from the government to follow the tradition of National Assembly and allot the Public Accounts Committee’s chairmanship to the Opposition leader.

He said added the provincial government has indicated the names and the number of giving chairmanship of 10 standing committees to them.

The proposed standing committees to be given to the MQM include Industries and Commerce, Information and Archives, Sports and Youth Affairs, Mines and Mineral, Social Welfare and Population Planning, Transport and Mass Transit, Auqaf, Zakat, Religious and Minorities’ Affairs departments.

MQM leader further said they proposed the government to give them the chairmanships of either the Agriculture or Irrigation, or the Finance and Planning but the ruling party did not entertain their demand.

When contacted, PML-F’s lawmaker Mehtab Akbar Rashdi also confirmed that government has indicated giving them three standing committees. She emphasised that the chairmanship of public accounts committee should go to the opposition leader as her party also supports the stance of MQM in this regard.

It may be noted that PML-N is supposed to get the chairmanship of two standing committees while the PTI, which has only four members in the House, will lead one standing committee as chairperson.