KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the chief secretary to personally monitor drafting of 31 laws which are to be enacted to take over the functions of federal government’s devolved departments.
The Sindh government under the 18th Constitutional Amendment has decided to appoint chairman provincial Employees Old age Benefit Institute (EOBI) for which the chief secretary in consultation with provincial Labour Department would recommended him a panel of three names for the position.
This decision was taken in a high-level meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister to review the progress of making laws to take over the control of various federal minister government functions devolved under 18th amendment.
Secretary IPC Shahid Pervaiz told the meeting that the Sindh EOBI law has been enacted and now the labour department has to notify its Board of Trustees which the chief minister has already approved with the directives to include two members from Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The chief minister directed the Labour department to notify the Board of Trustees for EOBI and also directed the chief secretary to send a panel of three names for the position of chairman Sindh EOBI. “This work has already been delayed and I want you to expedite it within 20 days,” he said.
The chief minister asked the progress of the notification of Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) Trustees. On this secretary labour said that he has sent a letter to the Speaker of Sindh Assembly for recommending the names of MPAs. As soon as the recommendation is received notification would be issued.
The chief minister directed the chief secretary to monitor the process of issuance of notification personally. “I would suggest you to coordinate with State bank of Pakistan for allocation of account number so that collection could be deposited there,” he directed.
Chief Secretary told the meeting that the State Bank of Pakistan has already allocated Account No. 3 for depositing Zakat collection. “I have personally monitored the entire process of making Zakat collection a provincial subject. Now, this (zakat) stands to be a provincial subject. The banks would collect zakat in the holy month of Ramzan and the deposit the collected/deducted amount in Sindh government’s account ,” he assured.
Secretary Excise & taxation said that the issue of Infrastructure Cess stands unresolved. Some companies have challenged it in the court. The cess is collected at the rate of one percent of the customs value of goods imported here.
Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput said that presently the Infrastructure Cess collection amount is deposited in the court, he said and added that the amount so far deposited in the court is around Rs15 billion.
The chief minister directed the chief secretary and secretary finance to follow the case in the court so that it could be decided at the earliest. “I want you to hire another lawyer. This must be followed properly and keep me informed about its progress,” he said.
Senior Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) would be entrusted to develop a separate cell or section for the collection of Infrastructure Cess. “This would be a good collection to utilise on the development of road infrastructure,” he said.
The secretary IPC said that 16 federal laws have been replaced with provincial laws and 31 one federal laws are yet to be enacted. On this the chief minister expressed displeasure and directed the chief secretary to take up the issue in Secretaries committee meeting so that the pending laws could be enacted.
The laws which are yet to be made provincial laws include Antiquities Act 1975, bonded labour system (abolition) Act 1992, Employment of Child Act 1991, Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923, Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding (Amendment) Ordinance 2007, explosive act 1884, Hindu inheritance 9Removal of Disability) Act 1928 and others.
The chief minister said that within next 15 days he would hold another review meeting and negligence would not be tolerated.