Karachi, April 19, 2018 (PPI-OT): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the federal government of PML-N in terms of water, power and federal transfers has unleashed a policy of crushing Sindh and its people and “this is a political agenda.” This he said today while addressing a crowded press conference at his Sindh Assembly Chamber.
He said that there were three serious issues in which the federal government of PML-N has started penalising people of Sindh. Pointing out the issues he said there are prolonged load-shedding, water shortage during Rabi and short release of federal transfers (funds), as a result, not only day-to-day life has been affected badly but agro-Industrial economy is crippling.
Talking about prolonged load-shedding, the chief minister said that he has written two letters to the prime minister and talked to him on telephone for at least six times to draw his attention towards the SSGC and K-Electric dispute which has turned into over 12- hour prolonged load-shedding in the city. The industrialists are being forced to shut down their industrial units.
Murad Ali Shah said that the prime minister told him that he had called both the entities, SSGC and KE. “I heaved a sigh of relief believing that the matter would solved but the prime minister instead of listening and directing both the parties personally he deputed Mifta Ismail to settle the dispute,” he said and added that when he called Miftah Ismail on his cell phone it was playing a message that he was out of country.
Murad Ali Shah said that SSGC claims that it’s Rs 29 billion Old outstanding are due against KE. Therefore, it [SSGC] has reduced gas supply to KE from 276 mmcfd to 90 mmcfd, as a result four gas-based power plants of KE stopped generating electricity causing more than 12 hour load shedding. The chief minister said that When the SSGC claim of Rs29 bn outstanding dues was audited it turned to be Rs13 billion Principal amount and the remaining amount was late payment and interest.
He added that the KE was ready to pay clear the old amount in instalments with full current payment of the gas. Now, the court has also directed the SSGC to supply 276 mmcfd gas to KE. “This is your dispute, SSGC and KE- in SSGC the federal government has 73 percent share and in KE the federal government owns 24 percent share, you get it settled, why you are penalising people of Karachi,” the chief minister questioned from the federal government.
Murad Shah said that power outage also affects water supply in Karachi because Pumping stations get tripped. Talking about load shedding in rural areas of the province, the chief minister that averagely 16 hour prolonged load shedding is resorted in Shaheed Benazirabad, 14 hours in Sukkur, 12 hours in Mirpurkhas, 16 hours in Larkana, 14 hours in Hyderabad, 18 hours in his home Distt Jamshoro. “This shows how much severe the vendetta of the federal government is against the people of Sindh, because since 1970s they have been voting PPP to power,” he said.
Shortfall in fed transfers: Talking about federal transfers, the chief minister said that so far the federal government has given Rs94 billion short. “This has caused serious problems with the financial health of the provincial government,” he said and added this was why he has curtailed development expenditure “because we can’t curtail salary expenditures,” he said.
Murad Ali Shah said that it was the inefficiency of the federal government that it could not achieve its tax recovery targets. As far as the Sindh government is concerned its collections are close to the targets. The SRB, Excise and Taxation would achieve their recovery target, he vowed. The chief minister said that some people against load shedding and water shortage are planning to stage sit in at CM House. “You have every right to protest against non-provision of utility services but “I would invite all political parties to come together and stage sit- in in front of PM House and I’ll be with you,” he said.
Water Shortage: Sindh chief Minister Murad Ali Shah talking about water shortages during Rabi Session said that the IRSA had conveyed that there would be 20 percent water shortages but the shortages reached to 36 percent. “I don’t know the water shortage was natural or it was theft,” he questioned.
NAB: Replying to a question about the raid NAB conducted on the Local Government Department, Murad Ali Shah said that he and his government would never create bottle necks in curbing the corruption but there should a decent a legal system to initiate inquiries and conduct raids. “Hardly grade B-17 or 18 officers raided the office of grade B-20, Secretary Local Government, snatched him his personal cell phone, insulted him and took away files with them and took his PS into custody. “When I heard about the incident I directed chief secretary to talk to DG NAB,” he said and added the DG NAB apologised on the insult and misbehaving attitude of the NAB officers with Secretary Local and assured him to return all the belongings they had taken away but nothing has been returned so far. Murad Ali Shah expressed his reservations on conduct of NAB and added this was not fair.
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