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Sindh cabinet opposes privatization of PIA, Steel Mills, Lakhra power plant

KARACHI: Sindh cabinet on Monday resolved to strongly oppose the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Steel Mill and Lakhra coal power plant, and said that the federal government would have to safeguard the interest of workers.  

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, chairing the cabinet meeting, said the workers of PSM are starving for non-payment of their salaries, while the federal government has deliberately turned the once profit-making steel mill into massive losses, and the same has been done with PIA.

The chief minister clarified that the land of PSM would automatically return to provincial government if it is privatized. The cabinet unanimously authorized CM Sindh to give a clear message the federal government and would resist their privatization.

CM to appoint vice-chancellor or public sector universities

The cabinet approved the draft law regarding public sector universities of Sindh, under which the appointment of vice chancellors, deans and pro-vice chancellor would be made by the chief minister, and the Governor being chancellor would confer honorary degrees. The appointment of registrars and controller of examinations would be made by the syndicate on the recommendation of selection committee. The cabinet sent the draft law to the standing committee for higher education.

The cabinet was told that the Nooriabad power project was operating at full capacity and was supplying 100 MW of electricity to K-Electric. The cabinet approved some technical amendments in gas supply agreement of Sindh Nooriabad power company, such as commercial operation date was made December 31, the word of alternative fuel was deleted and to meet the requirements of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

The cabinet discussed police rules and an argument emerged that the matter was subjudice in the Supreme Court, and the matter should be deferred until the court decides the appeal of Sindh government.

Resolution passed on Ruet-e-Hilal committee regulation

Secretary Zakat, Usher and Religious Affairs Riaz Soomro briefed the cabinet that the federal government has prepared a draft law to and regulate Ruet-e-Hilal arrangements in order to maintain unanimity on all religious occasions nationwide.

The provincial governments have been requested to pass a resolution allowing the federal government to legislate on their behalf for Ruet-e-Hilal. All other provinces except Sindh have already passed the resolution. The cabinet approved the proposal and directed the religious affairs department to submit the resolution in the assembly.

The cabinet approved revised amendment to Sindh Mining Concession Rules 2002. The cabinet was told by Mines and Minerals Shams Soomro that there was a lack of clarity in the existing definition of the licensing authority. The licensing powers were given to secretary and the minister has been made appellate authority.

The amendment in the charter of Ziauddin University was also approved. The cabinet also approved Rules of Sindh Coal Authority, 2017.  The cabinet also offered fateha for Sindh minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and human rights campaigner Asma Jahangir.

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