KARACHI: The Sindh government decided on Wednesday to fix a 0.5% quota of jobs in all government departments for members of the transgender community. The decision was taken in a meeting of the Sindh cabinet, which was presided over by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.
The meeting, which lasted for four hours at the Sindh Secretariat, also approved the establishment of a Physical and Rehabilitation Centre – the first ever in a civilian set up and fixed the Bus Rapid Transit fare structure, besides granting approval for the issue price of wheat crop at Rs3,450 per 100kg bag for the years, 2019 and 2020.
Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, provincial ministers, advisers, Sindh Police chief IG Dr Kaleem Imam, Karachi Police chief AIG Ghulam Nabi Memon and secretaries of respective departments attended the meeting.
Jobs for transgender persons
The home department officials told the cabinet meeting that the police chief has submitted a proposal, seeking to 0.5% quota for the recruitment of transgender persons in the Sindh Police.
The chief minister remarked that the rehabilitation of transgender persons was one of his government’s top priorities. “We have to bring them into the mainstream by offering them jobs in government departments,” he said, while approving the 0.5% quota not just in the police department, but in all government departments.
CM Shah directed the social welfare department to take necessary steps and encourage transgender persons to get a formal education and undertake technical trainings. The chief minister also issued announced that transgender persons would be allowed to participate in open competitions without any discrimination.
The cabinet members expressed dismay over the fact that the meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) had not been convened for some time. The cabinet, through a resolution, urged the prime minister to convene a CCI meeting without any delay. “Under the Constitution, the CCI must meet after every 90 days but from the last 11 months no such meeting has been called,” said the chief minister.
The energy minister told the cabinet that the federal government was reluctant to approve alternative energy projects of the Sindh. The chief minister said that he would take up these issues when the CCI meeting is convened.
Law and Order
IG Dr Imam and AIG Memon briefed the cabinet about the law and order situation, particularly on the rise in incidents of street crime in the city.
The cabinet was told that no incident of terrorism has taken place in the city during the current financial year with 97% reduction in target killing as compared to 2013 and 76% per cent reduction in cases of extortion as compared to the same year. In 2013, eight murders were committed in a day, which have been reduced to 1.2 per day in 2019.
The cabinet was told that a commendable reduction has been recorded in vehicles and mobile snatching compared to 2013. There has been a 78% decline in four-wheeler snatching, 73 per cent decline in two-wheeler snatching and 29% decrease in mobile phone snatching compared to 2013.
In response to a question, the chief minister was informed that 317 gangs of street criminals have been busted, while 621 criminals have been arrested with the registration of 690 FIRs. Further, 440 proclaimed offenders and 3,530 absconders have also been arrested in 2019.
The cabinet was told that in 2018, only 0.73 points of Ice drug were seized while in 2019, the figure had increased to 132.756 points. At this, the chief minister remarked that the difference in figures was quite extraordinary. “This shows that either the drug peddlers have pumped Ice drug in the city in a huge quantity this year or it was allowed to be sold unchecked in the city last year,” said Shah, adding that it was unacceptable and the police must clean the city from drug peddlers and smugglers. “We can’t leave our children at the mercy of drug peddlers,” he said.
In 2018, 219.837 kilogrammes of heroin was seized, while in 2019 its seizure stood at 1107.403kgs. In 2018, over 43,6602 packets of gutka, mawa and mainpuri were seized while in 2019, the figure stood at 4,034,652 packets.
Amal Umer Act
The cabinet also approved the rules and regulations of the ‘Sindh Injured Persons Compulsory Medical Treatment (Amal Umar) Act, 2019’. The law, which was earlier passed by the assembly, will help save the lives of injured persons without any essential police involvement. During the meeting, the CM directed the finance department to move a summary to create a special fund for the persons receiving emergency medical treatment.
The health department officials informed the cabinet that due to the rising incidence of road traffic accident cases, a large number of citizens become handicapped. Further, non-communicable diseases due to cerebrovascular accidents also result in physical disabilities.
To overcome the debilitating effects of these unexpected incidents, an institute with the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities is required to be developed, which would work towards the patients’ rehabilitation with the help of physiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, language and swallowing therapists, orthopaedics, prosthetics, autism specialists, neurophysiologists, special educators, vocational therapists, nutritionists and social workers. The draft act for the institute was approved by the cabinet and referred to the assembly.
Grant for ambulances
The cabinet also approved a grant in aid of Rs350.240 million for the continuation of Sindh Rescue and Medical Service’s (SRMS) fleet of 60 Aman ambulances in Karachi for the next six months, from July 2019 to December 2019.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2019.