Monday, January 23, 2006

Commission formed to prepare Sindh’s case

Commission formed to prepare Sindh’s case
By M.H. Khan
HYDERABAD, Jan 22: Formation of a high-powered commission comprising technocrats and experts to prepare Sindh’s case on socio-economic sectors was announced here on Sunday at a consultative workshop on ‘socio-economic challenges of Sindh’.The workshop was organized by the Sindh Development Foundation at a local hotel.Former speaker of the Sindh Assembly Hussain Haroon presided over the seminar.

It was addressed by Sindh University Vice-Chancellor Mazharul Haq Siddiqui, former Sindh University VCs Dr N. A. Baloch and G. A. Allana, Sindh Chamber of Agriculture chairman Qamar uz Zaman Shah, Advocate Ayaz Latif Palijo, Prof Ghulam Hussain Khaskheli, Prof Mushtaq Mirani, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Abdul Majeed Nizamani and the host, Agha Shahabuddin.

Hussain Haroon proposed formation of an objective committee to prioritize issues confronting Sindh.He regretted that 50 per cent people of the province were having subsistence of Re1 per day while the upper class bought cars worth Rs10 million.The former speaker said the government talked about gains made by the Karachi Stock Exchange but everyone knew how the economy of the country was funded.He criticized the government for increasing petrol prices.Mr Haroon said that in Sindh capacity of each of the 20 sugar mills was around 2,000 to 4,000 tons of sugarcane per day.He said all of a sudden four to five sugar mills in Punjab developed capacity of crushing 15,000 tons per day, which indicated that excessive water was being utilized by them.Dr N. A. Baloch said social disintegration, lawlessness, education and agriculture were the main issues of Sindh.He suggested formation of a think tank to monitor issues confronting Sindh.Ibrahim Joyo said there was a need of moving forward in health, education and agriculture.Mr Mazharul Siddiqui said poor people should not be taken lightly as they were the asset of the country and needed to be identified.“Empowerment of Sindh is linked with empowerment of the poor,” he remarked.SCA chairman Syed Qamar uz Zaman Shah said the SDF should establish an employment bureau to help jobless people in the province.Advocate Ayaz Latif Palijo said such forums had been used by most of the people to move to greener pastures by neglecting their own country.He alleged that there were many people who did not care about problems faced by Sindh.Mr Palijo called for preparation of a working paper and formation of a shadow cabinet over Sindh’s issues to negotiate with the government.

During the workshop, several resolutions were adopted, including constitution of an experts’ commission for all socio-economic sectors.It was decided that the SDF would soon present a comprehensive blue print pertaining to macro economic spheres which would be evaluated and implemented by the provincial planning and development ministry.It was resolved that all the provinces should be given the right of collecting taxes and all non-development expenditure should be borne by the provinces on population basis.The resolution described Sindh as the poorest province in the country though it generated the maximum revenue in the country.Another resolution said that the lower riparian had the first right over use of water and rejected construction of any dam over the Indus river.The workshop demanded organized education particularly in villages, improvement of health facilities, establishment of agro-based industries, provision of micro financing facilities on low interest rates, improvement of irrigation system, announcement of a new hari charter, acceleration of pace of work on Thar coal, restarting of closed power plants in Keti Bundar, launch of an effective campaign in Sindh to put an end to tribal feuds, karo-kari and religious extremism, and a launch of a crash programme to provide jobs to the people of Sindh in health, education, financial institutions and multinational corporations.
(DAWN, Jan 23, 006)


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