November 29, 2021

Sindh cabinet approves creation of water commission

  • Devolves SBCA to divisional level
  • Sindh Water Services Regulatory Authority to be set up

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet in its around five hours prolonged sitting approved important water act, devolution of Sindh Building Control Authority to the divisional level, ratified Pak army requirement in support of civil administration, upgraded posts of town officers from Grade BS-11 to BS-16 and approved Rs1million compensation for government employees dying due to coronavirus. 

This decision was taken in the meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House.

Sindh Water Act and Water Commission:

The local government department presented Sindh Water act 2020 in the cabinet. It has 11 chapters and three scheduled. Water Commission: Under the draft act Sindh water Resource Commission has been established under the chief minister.

Chief Secretary will be its vice chairman, provincial ministers- finance, Irrigation, environment, PHED, agriculture, industries, local government, forest and health would be its members. Chairman P&D and water experts would also be its board members.

The powers and duties of the commission include water conservation, redistribution, and augmentation of water resources in the province. It would be authorized to allocate water resources for domestic, agricultural, ecological, industrial or other purposes. It will also be its duty to maintain, improve and develop wildlife and fisheries in bodies of water from which water is drawn or is discharged.

Water & Sewerage Service: Under water act, Sindh Water Services regulatory Authority (SWSRA) has been created with the powers to ensure that the duties and functions of water service providers are discharged properly.  To ensure that the duties and functions of sewerage services providers are discharged in accordance with the law. The SWSRA would have the powers to approve, determine or revise tariffs for water and sewerage service providers.

The government may appoint a company, a local government or a statutory authority to be the water service provider or sewerage Service Provider for any area. In the draft act regulations for preventing contamination of water have been suggested.

Rs 902 million Subsidy to farmers:

The agriculture department told the meeting that the federal government has announced a subsidy package for farmers during Kharif 2021 for fertilizers (DAP), cotton seed and white-fly. The subsidy on Fertilizers (DAP) for rice and cotton has been offered for 70 percent of the total area under cultivation at a rate of Rs15,00 per acre in which the federal government would pay 75 percent share and Sindh government share would be 25 percent.

The federal government would pay Rs2.7 billion while Sindh government would have to pay 902 million.

Subsidy on cotton seed has been offered for 66 percent of the total area under cultivation at a rate of Rs1200 per acre. The subsidy for whitefly control has been offered for 70 percent of the area at a rate of Rs1200 per acre.

In Sindh cotton is grown over an area of 1.5 million acres, and rice on 2 million acres. According to these figures Sindh needs a subsidy on 3.5 million acres.

The cabinet approved the subsidy package offered by the federal government and constituted a committee to work out a mechanism for giving away the subsidy package.

Compensation:

The provincial cabinet approved a Rs1 million compensation for a deceased government employee, regular and contract, due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Sindh Building Control Authority

The meeting was told that Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) was a self-financing and resource generating authority. Besides fee received against approval of Building plans, grant of Completion Certificates, issuance of licenses to professionals and builders and NOCs.

The chief minister said that the SBCA has a heavy workload, therefore it was proposed to devolve it to the divisional level. Under the proposal, the existing SBCA would function as a policy making organization under Director General.

There would be Regional/Divisional Building Control Authorities such as Regional Building Control Authority (BCA) Karachi, BCA Hyderabad, BCA Mirpurkhas, BCA Shaheed Benazirabad, BCA Sukkur and BCA Larkana. These authorities would have execution and operational powers.

The cabinet approved the proposed devolution of the SBCA to the regional building control authority.

Town officers: The meeting was told that 184 Town Officers were appointed in 2010 in grade BS-11. The Minister Local Government Nasir Shah requested the cabinet to upgrade the position of Town officers from grade BS-11 to BS-16. The cabinet approved the proposal.

Delta Blue Carbon:

Minister Forest & Wildlife Nasir Shah told the cabinet that the Sindh Forest dept and Merlin’s Wood Pakistan (pvt) Ltd have entered into an agreement in 2015 to implement Forest Carbon Development Project under REDD+ mechanism in Indus delta Mangroves. The forest dept and its partner submitted the project description document for validation under climate community and biodiversity standards as well as Verification Carbon Standard for funding/sale under nomenclature of Delta Blue Carbon-I in the cabinet for approval.

Nasir Shah said that Delta Blue Carbon 9DBC)-1 would result in 127 million tCo2e of emission removals over a 60 year project lifetime. He added that the Sindh government was, therefore expected to receive its share of revenue as soon as the validation process was finalized.

He said that the interested bidders want to know about the proposed plan of investment of Sindh government on various sectors and activities. The cabinet, in line with the province’s climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction and sustainable development goals investment plan.

Amendments: The cabinet in order to appoint suitable heirs of shaheed, deceased and completely disabled rightful heir as ASI made an amendment in the Sindh police order 2002.

The cabinet also approved amendments in Sindh Factories Act 2015 and Sindh Shops and Establishment Act 2015 to encourage female labour force participation.

The cabinet also approved amendment in Sindh Workers Welfare fund Act 2014 and Sindh Companies Profits (Workers participation) Act 2015.