KARACHI: The Sindh Cabinet has decided to bring the remuneration of doctors working in the province's public hospitals at par with the doctors of Punjab province at an annual cost of Rs5.6 billion. The cabinet also decided that there would be appropriate legislation under which the enhancement of remuneration of doctors, teachers and other professionals will be ascertained with their performance and achievements.
The cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah and was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, all provincial ministers, advisers to chief minister, special assistants, Sindh Advocate-General and other relevant officers.
The health department presented a summary outlining the existing remuneration being paid to Sindh government doctors, house job officers, and postgraduate students in line with the existing remuneration of doctors in Punjab.
Most of the cabinet members expressed the view that the enhancement of salary package must be based on performance, punctuality and readiness to serve in hard areas wherever their services were required.
The chief minister intervened and said that the decision to revise the remuneration of the doctors was quite difficult for him keeping in view the financial impact but "we want to meet the demands of the doctors with the hope that they would serve to their utmost abilities," he said.
Sindh cabinet approves doctors pay raise to match Punjab
Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and the health secretary briefed the cabinet about the proposal under which Rs10,000 per month would be given to postgraduate candidates in addition to their existing remuneration. The health department would also revise the remuneration of all serving doctors from grade BPS-17 to grade BPS-20 and will bring it at par with the remuneration of doctors in Punjab.
The cabinet approved the proposal under which monthly special health allowance of Rs10,000 would be given to doctors of grade BPS-17 and grade 18 and Rs5,000 to the doctors of grade BPS-19 and 20.
The health professional allowance has been enhanced from Rs23,851 to Rs28,472 for grade BPS-17, from Rs15,956 to Rs19,175 for grade BPS-18, from Rs15,935 to Rs19,100 for grade BPS-19 and from Rs15,961 to Rs19,192 for grade BPS-20 doctors. Every doctor would get two allowances - professional and special health care, therefore the total impact would come to Rs5.6 billion.
PPHI contract extended
The health department informed the cabinet that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the health department and Peoples Primary Health Initiative (PPHI) had expired on December 12, 2018. The PPHI was managing 1,176 health facilities throughout Sindh with the support of Sindh government.
The Chief Executive Officer of PPHI has initiated a request for the renewal of the MoU for a period of another five years with effect from December 2018 to December 2023. The cabinet approved the request and decided to conduct third party audit on PPHI expenditures.
The Sindh Cabinet also approved the release of another tranche of funds for the North Karachi Children Hospital, which was contracted out to Poverty Eradication Initiative (PEI). It was also decided that the agreement between the health department and the PEI will be revised.
KMDC upgraded to university
The cabinet approved the proposal put forward by the Karachi Mayor to upgrade Karachi Medical and Dental College to university status and referred the bill to a committee to improve the draft and send it to the assembly.
Aror varsity bill
The cabinet, once again, approved the bill of Aror University of Art, Architecture, Design and Heritage Sukkur. A committee was constituted to make necessary improvements in the draft and present it in the assembly.
Safe house establishment
The Sindh Cabinet, as per the directives of the Sindh High Court, approved the establishment of safe houses for distressed women for their immediate rescue, safety and shelter from threats or security concerns on temporary basis in each district.
The cabinet approved an amount of Rs5m, including Rs3m for manpower and Rs2m for utilities.
NESPAK to Review K-IV Design
The Sindh Cabinet was informed that work on the K-IV project meant to provide 260 MGD of water to Karachi in the first phase has been awarded to FWO for Rs25.55b. The federal government is sharing 50% of the cost while the remaining 50% is being borne by the Sindh government.
Due to addition of supplementary works such as 50 MW power plant, augmentation and ancillary works as well as changes in routes, the review of the design was needed.
The cabinet was proposed to procure National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) for third party design review of the project. The cabinet approved the request and relaxed the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) rules to avoid further delay.
Reduction in passing marks
The Sindh Cabinet also approved the reduction in passing marks from 60% to 50% for recruitment of Junior Elementary School Teacher (JEST) of BPS-14 and Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) BPS-15.
The cabinet remarked that the government has to improve the educational standards. It was also decided to impart most professional trainings to the teachers.
Amendment in Land Revenue Act
On the recommendation of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prevention Committee constituted by the Chairman NAB to improve working of revenue departments, some amendments in the Land Revenue Act 1967 and Sindh Land Acquisition Act 1894 were approved.
The cabinet also authorised the chief minister to nominate the members of syndicates of the universities and board of governors, where required. The cabinet approved constitution of Board of Trustees of Sindh EOBI. The chief minister would appoint Board of Governors for Khairpur Cadet College. The cabinet nominated Commissioners of Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions as official members of governing body of Sindh Katchi Abadi Authority.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2019.
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