Cabinet meeting: Arms license fee exemption for MPAs, govt officials withdrawn

Personnel of armed forces will continue to enjoy facility.


Our Correspondent February 20, 2012

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to withdraw exemptions on payment of arms license fee allowed to legislators and government officials. However, the personnel of armed forces would continue to enjoy these exemptions.

A meeting of the Sindh Cabinet here on Monday, chaired by chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, directed the provincial home department to immediately move a summary to implement this decision.

The Cabinet also formed a committee to formulate a short-term plan to cope with any eventuality which may arise in coming monsoon in July and August this year as well as to revive natural courses of drainage water in the province.

Officials of the Irrigation department, relief and disaster management authority gave briefing to the Cabinet members about the on-going relief and rehabilitation in the areas, which were hit by rains and flood in 2010-11.

Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri, while briefing the media said that Cabinet took up a five point agenda which included exemption of arms license fee, relief and rehabilitation, Balochistan House and legislation on hostels and domestic violence.

She said that a three member committee comprising Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Food Minister Mir Nadir Magsi has been constituted to come up with short-term and long term plan for smooth flow of rains/flood waters. The committee, she said, will also give its proposals on drainage system.

Arms licenses

Marri said that the meeting had decided to look into the rules relating to exemptions on arms license fee to the personnel of armed forces.  Presently the defence personnel and legislators have been given exemption from payment of arms license fee. “The cabinet has advised the home department to move a separate summary to end the exemption for parliamentarians and government officers/employees.  We will check the rules for defence personnel,” she said.

The cabinet was informed that existing courses of the drainage system have been encroached by the influential persons where people have set up the building and villages.

The meeting has tasked the ministerial committee to suggest how to revive the old natural ways of water flows as well as to enhance the water capacity of LBOD project by the June, 2012.

Balochistan House

The issue of Balochistan House was also discussed.  The Cabinet was informed that Sindh government had allotted a piece of land in Karachi where Balochistan government had constructed the Balochistan House. But later it sold the property to Sindh government for Rs35million.

But now, the government of Balochistan has again requested to take back its building (Balochistan House) or be allotted another piece of land.

She said that the Cabinet has approved the request with two options; either to resell the same building or allot another piece of land

Information Minister said that Sindh Cabinet members also expressed concern over the situation of Balochistan and stressed the need to give rights to the people of the province. The cabinet members also appreciated the efforts of the federal government, which initiated ‘Aghaz-e Huqooq Balochistan’.

At the same time, the Sindh cabinet criticized the resolution moved in US Congress, saying that it was interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, she added.

Domestic violence

Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for women department Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto briefed the cabinet about the importance of a proposed bill against domestic violence. The CM and other cabinet members endorsed her views and suggested her to table a government bill in the assembly.

Controversial briefing

Cabinet members expressed their dismay over a presentation by the rehabilitation department, which claimed that 90 per cent stagnant flood water has been pumped out and people have returned to their homes.

Sources said that the rehabilitation minister, Haji Muzaffar Shujra, claimed that every thing is fine there but advisor to CM on relief, Haleem Adil Shaikh, had different story to tell. He said that more than 20 per cert people are still living in tents. Shazia Marri and another minister who belongs to Mirpurkhas and Sanghar areas said that the areas are still inundated.

There are also complaints relating to the distribution of relief goods, urea, and seed. Most of the affected people have not been able to receive the urea and seed despite announcement made by the President Asif Ali Zardari.

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