KARACHI: The Sindh population welfare department has inherited 170 staffers, who were transferred from the centre, after the federal population welfare department’s control was given to the province.
This transfer of control from the top to the bottom is part of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution changes that seek to empower provinces. But this also means that the provincial departments will be financially responsible for themselves.
When the change came through, five federal ministries – population welfare, local bodies and rural development, Zakat and Ushr, special initiatives and youth affairs – were handed to the provinces in the first week of December 2010.
According to the Sindh population and welfare department’s additional secretary Syed Ashfaq Ali Shah, the staff has been transfered, but their salaries haven’t. As a result, Sindh has been paying this group on its own and will continue to till June 2011. Shah hoped that by then the federal government would allocate funds for their salaries and pensions.
The ministry also handed over the Population Welfare Training Institute, Karachi, along with four regional training institutes in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana. An ongoing scheme of the training institute on the Super Highway, Karachi, has also been handed over to the Sindh Population Welfare Department, which is under construction. Two pilot projects, including a multipurpose centre in Larkana and a Safe Mother Home in Badin, have also been shifted to the Sindh government. Meanwhile, the Central Warehouse of Contraceptives and the National Research Institute for Fertility Care, Karachi, have yet to be transferred.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2011.