MQM demands Hyderabad varsity, withdrawing taxes

KARACHI: Parliamentary leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Sindh assembly Syed Sardar Ahmed on Tuesday said establishment of Hyderabad University is the old demand of the people of the second largest city of Sindh province and this university should be included in this year’s budget.

Speaking during general debate on the provincial budget in Sindh assembly, he said the population of Hyderabad has rose sharply and it is not easy to go to Jamshoro; therefore, the government should establish a university in Hyderabad for which land is also available. He said they are in favour of new universities all over Sindh province, but the government should not ignore Hyderabad.

Opposing the levy of gas development cess by the federal government, he also requested the Sindh chief minister to withdraw proposed taxes in Sindh budget, as he said the citizens of urban areas would be hit by them. He said these taxes would give nothing but agitation and unrest amongst masses. He said if additional allocations in different heads are rationalized the government would save some Rs20bn, while the new taxes could hardly fetch Rs3billion. He said if property tax is collected from both rural and urban areas the government could get Rs1300million. He said the main issue is the poor tax collection system which should be revamped. He said water rates were notified in 1999 and it is high time to revise them. He said proper collection of land revenue could also augment the government kitty.

Sardar Ahmed said there is need of the third party audit of the State Trading funds. He said previously Rs72 billion were invested and Rs20billion expense was incurred on this investment. He asked to explain what was this expense on investing money. He said Rs40billion were earned but instead of transferring them to government revenue they were re-invested which was against the rules. He said Sindh Bank was established with an equity of Rs10billion but nobody knows about the balance sheet of this ban k. He said there are not details of public private partnership ventures and the assembly members should be given its account.

He said funds for Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur are curtailed this year. He said Sukkur needs a special package in this budget. He said the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) was abandoned. He said Karachi urgently needs a mass transit program. He said the cantonment areas are not being shifted from civilian areas as per the verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He also demanded health insurance scheme for not only the government servants but also all citizens of the province. He said the budget should be made under a principle and the province should transfer funds to its districts on the formula of NFC award distribution.

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