A bill on the development of Lyari and Malir was deferred in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday, even though a number of MPAs supported the legislation.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ayaz Soomro moved a bill titled “The Lyari and the Malir Development Authorities (Revival and Amending) Bill, 2009.” Soomro explained that after the Sindh Local Government Ordinance was promulgated in 2001, laws on development authorities in Sindh were repealed.
This had resulted in legal issues on ownership of the properties of such authorities and completion of incomplete scheme. “There is no progress of the housing industry. In order to give impetus and encourage the housing industry, it is expedient in the public interest to revive the law relating to the Malir and Lyari development authorities,” he said.
Haji Munawar Ali Abbasi of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said that the suburban areas were neglected by the then-city government and development work could be initiated once the bill was passed. “The former city nazim claims to have spent Rs300 billion on development in Karachi, but they did not give roads and drinking water facilities in Malir, Keamari and other suburban areas. ” The Lyari and Malir development authorities were initiated by the PPP during its second tenure in the 1990s.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Nusrat Seher Abbasi also supported the bill, but was concerned that while many packages are being announced for the development of these areas, there has been little to show for it.
Despite the support, the law minister did not go ahead with moving the bill and told the speaker that they wanted to defer it. His reason was that “The local government minister is not in the house. We need some amendment in the bill, therefore I request you to please defer the bill till tomorrow.”
The bill was also moved last year, but was deferred because of differences between the PPP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
MQM parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed denied having any differences with the PPP over the bill and said, “I wasn’t in the session today and cannot comment on the bill,” he said. Other MQM leaders did not respond to calls.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.