Only one veterinarian for 60k animals, PA told

Sindh to hire 527 vets soon, EU has lifted ban on fish exports, says minister

Hafeez Tunio March 02, 2021
Sindh Assembly Session. PHOTO: NNI


There is only one veterinarian for every 60,000 animals in the province, the Sindh Assembly was informed on Monday.

During the question and answers session, Sindh Livestock and Fisheries Minister Abdul Bari Pitafi told the house that the province is facing a severe shortage of veterinary doctors and the Sindh government plans to appoint 527 doctors soon.

"Currently we have around 850 doctors in Sindh. This ratio is meager compared to the total number of animals," the minister said while responding to a question.

Announcing the provincial government's decision to hold the animal expo in Hyderabad, Pitafi said that the expo will be inaugurated by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Hyderabad where different breed of horses from all over Pakistan will participate in a three-day show to commence from March 13.

The minister briefed the house about the European Union lifting the ban on exports of fish and its related products. Pitafi was of the view that the ban was slapped because of unhygienic conditions of seafood which led to huge economic loss.

"Although it is a federal government matter, we are pursuing it and have met the EU's requirement by developing better hygiene practices. The EU has lifted the ban and asked us to export fish and its related items," he informed the house.

With regards to the measures taken by his department, the fisheries minister said that they have developed jetties and proper cooling stores to stock fish. "We have also established jetties in Thatta, Badin and Sujawal, where the government also plans to set up ice-factories."

When asked about the fishermen village schemes for Manchhar and Keenjhar Lakes, the minister said that 75 per cent work has been finished on the schemes. There was a budget issue which is why development work was delayed, he added.

"We have asked the finance department to release funds. The pandemic has created the problem as most of the funds are diverted for Covid-19."

Heated exchange

Earlier, as the session started with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair, the house witnessed pandemonium for the third consecutive session. The situation became tense when Opposition Leader Haleem Adil Shaikh drew the Speaker's attention toward horse-trading in the forthcoming Senate elections. "We have heard that an actual market has been set up for the sale and purchase of MPAs in Sindh to change the loyalty of lawmakers of this house," alleged Haleem.

Referring to a viral video depicting exchange of money over Senate polls, Haleem said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government has taken the matter to court.

When PTI MPAs raise genuine issues the ruling party members attack them in order to suppress their voice, lamented Haleem. "In the last sitting our member raised the issue of dogs rule in Sindh, but members from other side attacked them. I still believe that there is dogs rule because stray dogs are moving freely biting people in the province, which lacks anti-rabies vaccination," he said, adding that the PPP-led Sindh government has victimised him by lodging fake cases against him.

Responding to the opposition leader, PPP MPA Sharjeel Inam Memon said that no fake case was registered and he can prove that Haleem was roaming in the Malir's PS-88 with guns during the by-polls.

Showing video clips and photos purportedly of Haleem and his guards, who were carrying firearms, Memon declared that he would resign if anyone proved this wrong.

This led to chaos in the house with lawmakers on either side of the aisle joining in. The assembly session was later adjourned till Tuesday.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2021.