Karachi - In a rare event in the Sindh Assembly during the budget session, the proceedings remained smooth as 20 lawmakers spoke for over six hours without any unpleasant protest by any member.

At the outset of proceedings the Grand Democratic Alliance parliamentary Leader Husnain Mirza expressed his concern over hooliganism from both sides in the Assembly on Tuesday. Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani said, he did not want to say who was right or wrong, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf parliamentary Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh said that every member of the assembly was bound to keep sanctity of the house.

Minister for parliamentary affairs rose to ask for an apology from the opposition members for passing below the belt remarks. Opposition Leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi requested the treasury and opposition members to remain calm. He also asked the speaker to extend time for debate on the budget so that every member could express their views.

‘Centre should pay back for three hospitals’

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu said that as many as 178 people contracted Covid-19 due to distribution of money under Ehsaas programme. She said that the provincial governmert spent billions of rupees on the three hospitals—NICVD, NICH and JPMC—which the federal wanted to take over. She said that if the centre wanted to take these hospitals under its control, the provincial government should be paid all that expenditures incurred on the uplift of these hospitals.

She also informed the lawmakers that government was conducting coronavirus test free of cost, adding that each test cost Rs. 4000. “Private hospitals are charging over Rs 8000 for the same test,” she added.

‘Nothing for Karachi in budget’

Muhammad Hussain Khan of MQM-P said that the PPP was in power in the province for the last 12 years. “The Sindh government got Rs 6410 billion from the federal government and generated Rs. 1771 billion during the past years,” he said. The MQM-P MPA said that Rs 1804 billion had been allocated in the ADP during past 12 years and only Rs 150 billion were spent on Karachi. He added that only Rs 26 billion was earmarked for ADP schemes in Karachi.

Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said locusts attack was a threat to our food security but the federal government was not paying attention to this important issue. He also underlined importance of 18th amendment and said that those who were talking to roll it back did not even read its provisions.

Action demanded against KE

The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal sole MPA Syed Abdul Rasheed demanded that national policies should be formed for uniform facilities in education and health sectors. “What have you (PPP) given to Karachi as the people are still facing acute water scarcity, hub of garbage could be seen everywhere and sewerage system is collapsed,” he said while asking what had the peoples party given to the peoples.

Speaking on prolonged power suspension, he said that many areas of Karachi witnessed load shedding up to 14 hours. Rasheed asked the federal government to take action against K-Electric for causing inconvenience to people in this sizzling weather. He asked how students could take online classes without electricity.

MQM-P’s Syed Hasim Raza said that MQM-P was the first party to support the provincial government after outbreak of COVID-19. The Health Minster should answer whether the department had achieved its target, adding that issues would not be resolved only through replacing the secretary. Speaking on “shortage” of ventilators at hospitals, he said he had received eight calls from his constituents asking him for ventilators but he failed to arrange the same for them.” Unfortunately, four out of eight patients died,” he added. Hashim said that building for burns centre in district Korangi was constructed but the same could not be made functional. “Sindh government had collected Rs 210 billion tax from Karachi but in return it gave nothing,” the MQM-P lawmaker said while terming it injustice with the port city.

 

‘Forced conversion’

 

Nand Kumar Goklani of the GDA said that force conversion of minorities girls was continue in Badin, Tharparkar and other parts of the city. “Our daughters are also being kidnapped and raped but no one paid attention to this serious issue,” he added while asking the treasury to bring in and pass his bill aimed at protection of minorities.

 

Minister for Mines and Minerals Shabbir Bijarani held Prime Minister Imran Khan responsible for air crash in Karachi and asked as to why the Chairman of PIA was not removed. He said why the plane was declared airworthy when it was faulty.