Sindh cabinet decides to engage private hospitals, labs for COVID-19 Mass Vaccination

Karachi, March 16, 2021 (PPI-OT): The provincial cabinet has passed a resolution reposing confidence and trust in Election Commission of Pakistan, its chairman and members and has called upon the federal government not to intervene in discharge of the constitutional obligations of the ECP. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, advisor law, chief secretary and concerned secretaries.

COVID Mass Vaccination: The Sindh Cabinet has decided to engage private hospitals and laboratories in COVID-19 Mass Vaccination programme and encourage the private health sector to import COIVID-19 vaccine, allocate human resources and establish vaccination centers, especially in Karachi.

The health department told the cabinet that during COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial response to combat coronavirus was characterized by mixed public and private delivery of care. The private health sector played a critical role in providing essential health services, especially when the public sector was so overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients catered the need to test patients for COVID-19 as well as the isolation and treatment of patients who required hospitalization and critical care.

On the receipt of the first consignment of Sinopharm vaccine, the provincial government started its vaccination drive to inoculate Frontline healthcare workers against COVID-19 in the first phase. Recently, the vaccination of 60 plus general population has been started and in the next phase, mass vaccination of all ages above 18 will be initiated. This will require involvement of the private health care sector to shoulder the efforts of the health department to vaccinate every eligible resident of the province.

The chief minister said that the government must seek the commitment, capability and the capacity of the private sector to import COVID-19 vaccine to fulfill this national duty in the most effective and efficient manner, for the relief of citizens and in a bid to help the country to return to normalcy.

The cabinet allowed the health department to engage private hospitals and laboratories in COVID-19 Mass Vaccination and encourage the private health sector to import COVID-19 vaccines. The chief minister directed the health department to formulate SOPS for the purpose along with registration mechanism under Sindh Health Care Commission so that everything, including price of the vaccine should remain under control.

Nurses: The cabinet was told that the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) had forwarded a list of 958 eligible candidates (male and female) and recommended for the appointment as staff nurses, BS-16. After their appointment, the SPSC has sent a list of nine nurses, among whom the Pakistan Nursing Council Certificates of six candidates were after the cut-off date while in case of three others PNC certificates were not attached.

The chief minister directed the health department not to terminate or withdraw their appointment order but convert their order into contract. The cabinet endorsed the chief minister’s directives.

Succession Certificates: The cabinet was told that the Letters of Administration and Succession Certificate Bill 2021 duly passed by the assembly in January 2021 was sent to the Governor for accord of assent thereto. The Governor has returned the bill with some observations.

The Governor is of the opinion that if all the legal heirs are required for biometric verification for succession certificate, it will create problems to the legal heirs living abroad. The cabinet keeping in view the observations of the Sindh Governor referred the bill back to the committee for reconsideration.

Grant of loan to KDA: The local government department requested the cabinet to approve a loan of Rs844.159 million to clear outstanding dues of Karachi Development Authority (KDA) which would be paid back after auction of KDA plots.

The chief minister said that the KDA, local bodies and market committees were autonomous bodies and they have their established system to pay their salaries, gratuity and pension to their retiring or retired employees from their resources. He questioned why these bodies have failed or maintained their financial discipline and off and on keep requesting the provincial government for grant-in-aid to pay their pensions.

The chief minister asked where their pension fund was and how they have invested and utilized it. The cabinet keeping in view the questions raised by the chief minister constituted a committee under Minister Local Government Syed Nasir Shah. The other members would be Ismail Rahu, Saeed Ghani, Imtiaz Shaikh and Murtaza Wahab to examine the pension funds of KDA, KMC, DMCs, other local bodies, market committee and such other organization and how they have invested it and why they have bogged down in such a serious financial crisis and report to the cabinet.

The organizations which were overstaffed would also be identified and a proposal for developing a ‘surplus pool’ would also be submitted so that they could be absorbed somewhere else.

Special Court under SBCO: The provincial cabinet in November 2019 had approved the establishment of Special Courts under Sindh Building Control Ordinance (SBCO-1979) at divisional headquarters.

The cabinet, with the concurrence of Chief Justice Sindh High Court approved the proposal, that the sitting District and Session Judges of Districts in Karachi Division, in addition to their own work in their respective districts, would the powers to exercise the jurisdiction within their territorial limits, as vested with judges of Special Courts under Sindh Building Control Ordinance -1979.

The sitting District and Session Judges at Divisional headquarters of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas Division, in addition to their own work, would exercise the jurisdiction within their limits as vested with judges of Special Courts under SBCO-1979.

Low Housing projects: The provincial cabinet, on the recommendation of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development to reduce registration fee on mortgage for low-cost housing projects approved reduction in mortgage fee. Under the approved proposal Mortgage under Rs1 million would be Rs15,00, Rs 1 million to Rs5 million Rs3000 and over Rs5 million Rs10,000.

Aman healthcare: On the request of the Health department the provincial cabinet approved Rs300 million Grant-in-Aid in favour of Aman Health care Services for a period of six month, January 2021 to June 2021 for continuation of operations of Sindh Rescue and Medical Services. The cabinet also directed the health department to get a new company registered so that funding issues could be resolved for good.

Graveyard: The provincial cabinet decided to allot 20 acres of land to Dawoodi Bohra Community for their graveyard near Gadap at a rate of Rs7.5 million. The Bohra community had requested the chief minister that their most of the members have shifted towards Super Highway, therefore they may be given a piece of land for their graveyards. The revenue department found out a piece of 20 are at Deh Boil, taluka Gadap, Malir Karachi. The price fixation committee fixed the market price of the land at Rs15 million per care. The cabinet, keeping in view the usage of the land, decided to allot the land at 50 percent of the market price.

The chief minister said that other communities have also requested for land for their graveyards. He directed the Board of Revenue to find out similar lands for other communities so that they could be allotted at the earliest.

Military Land: The Sindh cabinet on the request of the army authorities excluded military land from Karachi Strategic Development Plan (KSDP) 2020. The military land excluded from the KSD includes 300 acres Race Course Ground, Saddar Cantt and 15 acres Military land adjacent to Capri Cinema.

Group Insurance: The cabinet was told that the provincial government was providing Group Insurance to legal heirs of Civil Servants who expired during service or five years after retirement or upto the age of 65 years. The rationale behind the policy is to look after the welfare aspects of civil servants and their families, especially once they are no more alive after serving the government.

In this backdrop, the government has planned group insurance policy in such a way that all the employees, from Grade BS-1 to BS-22 contribute a very nominal amount per month from their salaries and in return a substantial grade-wise compensation package is provided to the legal heirs of the deceased employees.

The cabinet was told that the agreement signed between Sindh government and State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) for the period from July 1, 2015 to June 2018 has expired. Therefore, the finance department requested the cabinet to approve extension of the agreement from July 2017 to June 2023. The cabinet, on the recommendation of the Provincial Welfare Board approved renewal of the contract with SLIC at a rate of Rs7.43 per 1000 per employee.

For more information, contact:
Press Secretary,
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019(Ext: 336)

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