Sindh doubles down on Rs 802 bln contribution to KT

Bureau Report

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Tuesday once again rejected the Centre’s claim of contributing Rs800 billion to the Rs1.1 trillion Karachi Development Package. Speaking at a press conference, the provincial government’s spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said the Centre’s contribution to the uplift package will be Rs362.9 billion, out of which Rs260 billion will be covered through public-private partnership (PPP) mode while the rest will be funded from the PSDP.On the other hand, Murtaza Wahab said the provincial government’s contribution will be Rs802 billion, which included funds earmarked for the projects that are ongoing and those conceived. He said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had announced the Rs802 billion development package for the port city, which PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also mentioned in his statements.He said Karachi’s perennial issues will remain unresolved until the Centre will take keen interest in resolving them, stressing the need for setting aside all political difference. He, however, cleared that the purpose of his presser was to set the record straight and not indulge in any blame game.
Earlier, Sindh Government Spokesperson and Adviser on Law, Environment & Coastal Development Barrister Murtaza Wahab on Monday said that recent rains had wreaked havoc all over Pakistan, and demanded a proper relief package for the rain-hit Karachi.
Addressing a press conference, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader said that the provincial government has declared 20 districts as disaster-prone so that relief work can be carried out. The adviser added that disaster relief was last given to the areas in the 2011 and Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) while addressing a press conference in the Sindh Assembly Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was visiting the affected areas and assessing the damage and addressing the people of Mirpur Khas, Badin.
Speaking on PM Imran’s recent visit to the port city, he said that in this difficult time, the premier should not only visit the affected areas of Sindh and also help in their rehabilitation. The federal government has been asked to waive agricultural loans, he added.
“Iftikhar Shalawani is a good officer. I am hopeful that he will handle matters better as an administrator,” he said, adding that water has been pumped out in many places and sewerage has backed up as well. “This situation is bad. It is a 40-year-old problem. We cannot solve it immediately,” he further said. Wahab said that 62 per cent of the relief package belongs to the federal government and 38 per cent to the Sindh government and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had earlier mentioned Rs802 billion. “We have targets that are different stages,” he said. “We are spending from our budget. We have money from the World Bank, the Asian Development Fund.”
He also said that Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is taking money from this account while KCR is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “At the request of the Chief Minister of Sindh, we became part of CPEC in 2016 and after preparing its proposals,” he added. The adviser said that Sindh CM had written four letters regarding KCR and a resolution which was also passed in the Sindh Assembly. On KCR, the CM told the premier that it should be given priority but did not receive a response, he added.
Wahab said that the Sindh government has filed an application for Bahria Town money, and no decision has been taken yet as the federation has filed a counter application. He remarked, “the land is ours, the money is ours, the province is ours.” He said that the Orange Line in Lahore was built using provincial money.
The Supreme Court has been deposited with over Rs60 million from the Bahria Town case, but that money has not been transferred into the relevant funds, he added. “The money belongs to the Sindh government. The federation and Sindh should play their part in this matter,” he further said.
“Fawad Chaudhry is asked that the 162 billion announced by the prime minister has been received. They now peek into their collars. Bahria Town’s money is not from the federation but Sindh. This land is ours, so is the money,” he told reporters.