Post-devolution: ‘Centre has Rs2,700b for 8 departments, provinces just Rs1.2b’

Sindh nationalists call provincial autonomy a scam.

Express July 06, 2011


The federal government has  Rs2,700 billion to run eight departments while the four provinces get only Rs1,200 million from the centre, pointed out Sindhi nationalists, at a press conference on Monday.

These parties have reacted badly to the devolution of powers from the centre to provinces and described this new autonomy as nothing but a trick being played on them.

Even though control of departments has been given to provinces, the federal government has not handed over lucrative projects and autonomous bodies. They warned that they would go to court, if these projects were not part of the package.

Addressing a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah of the Sindh United Party, Barrister Zameer Ghumro of the Sindh Dost Ittihad and Shah Mohmmad Shah of the Save Sindh Movement demanded that the federal government retain only defence, foreign affairs and currency and hand over all other departments and their projects to provinces.

"All 17 departments which have now been devolved, originally belonged to provinces, but were illegally transferred to the federal government after the abolition of the One Unit in 1970," they said. "For 38 years the federal cabinet illegally ran these ministries. It would have been appropriate to lodge FIRs," they said, adding that someone had to hold them accountable for the billions of rupees racked up in loans.

They demanded the centre hand over autonomous bodies including those related to drug regulation.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2011.


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