KARACHI    -    Sindh Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Rahoo on Friday expressed concerns over the center’s ‘biased’ attitude towards Sindh and said the federal government was not cooperating with the provincial government to tackle locust issue.

Furnishing statement in the Sindh Assembly, Rahoo said that Plant Protection Department (PPD) headed by the federal government was competent authority to tackle locust yet the centre was not assisting with the provincial government. The PPD has 20 planes for aerial spray but 17 of them were not functional. “Two planes are on standby in Punjab where locust has not arrived yet but on the other hand, only one plane was sent to Sindh and that too after repeated letters,” the minister added while terming it the centre’s dual standard for Sindh and Punjab. “Why Sindh is being treated like this. Is it not part of Pakistan. Sindh and Bangal were two provinces that took initiative for Pakistan’s creation. You have separated Bangal and now treating Sindh like this,” he said without mentioning anyone.

Rahoo stated that the plane sent by the PPD for aerial spraying in Sindh was not fully functional and often remained useless during its visit to Sindh in July and November. “The PDP’s plane sprayed in only 8,500 acres desert area during its both visits while there is millions of acres area is yet to be sprayed. The federal government should send all three functional planes to Sindh so that most of the desert area could be covered,” the minister demanded.

Apprising the measures adopted by the provincial government, he said that 15 centers were established in different districts with a central control room in Hyderabad. Rahoo added that the agriculturists were also provided with local pesticide, adding that required insect repellent could only be imported by the federal government.

The minister said that 12 districts of the province including Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Ghotki were mostly affected with locust.

Separately, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla assured the PTI lawmaker Dr Imran Ali Shah that efforts would be taken to provide facilities to the government run schools in his constituency sooner rather than later. The PTI member said that several schools in his constituency were deprived of basic facilities. “Girls schools lack toilet. The students were compelled to sit on the floor. We have given them mats to sit but the same have now been tear a apart,” he added while asking the minister concerned to visit his constituency.

Meanwhile, the Assembly unanimously passed The Sindh Charities Registration and Regulation Bill, 2019. Following enactment of the law, a commission namely Charities Registration and Regulation Commission would be formed with a mandated to ensure that charities and promoters comply with their legal obligations in exercising control and management of the administration of the charitable funds. The commission would also institute a mechanism including central database for effective monitoring and evaluation.

“If any part of any donations collected for any charitable fund is used for any purpose or object other than the purpose for which it was collected, or is otherwise misapplied or misappropriated in any manner, every person concerned with the collection or administration of the fund, whether as a promoter, collector or a recipient, shall unless he proves that the misuse, misapplication or misappropriation, shall be deemed to have committed the misuse or misappropriation of fund,” the bill read.

It was also mentioned in the bill that any person who dishonestly or fraudulently tampers, conceals or destroys any record pertaining to the collection of any charitable fund shall be deemed to have contravened the provisions of the Act and liable to punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year but which shall not be less than six months and fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees or more than one hundred thousand rupees.

“A promoter shall not make or solicit collection for on any charitable fund unless before the start of the collection, he makes a declaration in respect of the intended collection and delivers the declaration to the Commission, in writing,” the bill read.