Sindh cabinet approves regularisation of NTS-passed teachers

KARACHI – The Sindh cabinet has decided to regularize the NTS-passed contractual teachers through Sindh Assembly Act and to simultaneously table a comprehensive education reforms bill in the assembly for improvement in education system in the public sector.

The item was taken up by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah as an additional item at the cabinet meeting held here on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that there were about 2,100 NTS-passed contractual teachers and contractual teachers at the University of Sindh.

He added that under the recruitment rules specified for the teachers, they were supposed to pass a test for regularization. The chief minister said that education was the matter of life and death for people of the province. “I have taken it as a mission that I have to improve education in the public sector for which I need the support of cabinet members, academicians, civil society and parents,” he said.

The chief minister also directed the chief secretary and his team to prepare a comprehensive draft of education reforms bill, which would propose reforms in the entire education system, right from text books to the academic environment at schools, capacity building of teachers, their training, providing performance-based incentives to the teachers in the shape of increments and promotions, and building an academy of repute for the training of teachers. “But before all this, prepare a bill for regularization of NTS-passed contractual teachers,” he directed.

The cabinet members said that MQM-London (MQM-L) chief Altaf Hussain was involved in anti-state activities, therefore any building, ground, or any other place named after him should be changed forthwith.

The chief minister, on the recommendation of the cabinet, directed the chief secretary to prepare the list of such buildings, which were named after Altaf so that their names could be changed. The Sindh Welfare and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act-2017 was also presented before the cabinet.

The chief minister said that the Treaty of Amsterdam, which had come into force on May 1, 1999, included a protocol on animal welfare, and was designed to ensure improved protection and respect for the animals.

He emphasised that animals had an inalienable right to live in an environment which was free from abuse. “They have the right to adequate nourishment and appropriate shelter, treatment and care,” the CM said, and added that harmonious existence of all living things contributed to a sense of respect for animals while the violation of these fundamental principles would result in degradation of natural and moral fabric of the society.

Wildlife Secretary Asif Hyder Shah, while giving details, said that the proposed law would also make it illegal to cruelly beat, kick, overload, torture, infuriate or terrify an animal.

He added that other things such as making animals fight; administering poisonous or injurious substances to them without good reason; permitting their operation without due care and hunting a caged animal from where it has no reasonable chance to defend itself would also stand prohibited under the law.

The cabinet appreciated the efforts and formed a committee with the local government minister as its chairman, while the minister for livestock and secretary wildlife were tasked with going through the draft once again and in the meantime frame rules so that it could be get passed from the assembly in the next session and become operational.

The merger of Summit Bank with the Sindh Bank, Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer & Tenure) Rules, 2017, Amendment in SPPRA Act, 2009 were also included in the agenda of the meeting.

The cabinet also approved the minutes of its last meeting and then took up the agenda of merger of Summit Bank with Sindh Bank.

The chief minister told the cabinet that the Sindh Bank was established on the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto in 2011, and its first branch was opened at Naudero at which former president Asif Ali Zaradri had opened the first account. The bank has so far 300 branches within its first three years, he said.

The Summit Bank is also a newly established bank and its merger with Sindh Bank would boost the business further.

The meeting was told that the Board of Sindh Bank Ltd had already approved merger of Sindh Bank Ltd with the Summit Bank Ltd for which a swap ratio of 1:4.17 had been determined, that is one ordinary share of Sindh Bank was approved to be issued for every 4.17 ordinary shares of summit bank.

Talking about structure of the transition, the chief minister said that Summit bank would merge into Sindh Bank which would be the surviving entity. Sindh Bank would have majority representation on the board of directors and dominant shareholding would continue to be held by the Sindh government.

Sindh Bank, as the surviving entity, would apply for the combined shares to be listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange through technical listing. The cabinet unanimously approved the merger of Summit Bank into Sindh Bank.

The cabinet also took up Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer & Tenure) Rules, 2017 for discussion, but most of the cabinet members said that since they had not been given the draft rules; therefore they were not prepared to discuss them at the meeting.

The chief minister, while expressing his displeasure, allowed 15 days to the law minister to circulate the rules among the cabinet members and then bring these at the next cabinet meeting.

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