Caretaker cabinet approves funds for repatriation of illegal foreigners

CM directs home minister to provide necessary support of police to district administration for repatriation

KARACHI-The Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd) Maqbool Baqar while presiding over a caretaker cabinet meeting, decided to allocate Rs4.5 billion for the repatriation of illegal immigrants, approved the retirement of 25 billion liabilities under the wheat subsidies and Rs 32,000 minimum wage and also appointed a new Executive Director of the NICVD. The meeting was attended by the provincial ministers, Chief Secretary Dr Fakhre Alam, PSCM Agha Wasif, Chairman P&D Shakil Mangejo, Secretary Finance Kazim Jatoi and others concerned.
At the outset of the meeting, the cabinet strongly condemned the Israeli’s inhuman attacks on Gaza and the killing of innocent people in Palestine. The Israeli occupying forces targeted the civilians and even did not spare the hospital. The cabinet demanded an immediate ceasefire. The cabinet said that the ruthless attack was a sheer violation of international humanitarian laws. “The Israeli attacks constitute a grave crime against humanity,” the cabinet said.
The Home Secretary told the cabinet that the federal government has decided to repatriate all illegal foreigners from November 1, 2023. The Ministry of Interior has shared the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan (IFRP) outlining necessary actions to be taken by all the provinces.
It was pointed out that the federal cabinet whilst approving the IFRP decided that the provinces would bear the cost of the logistics, however, the issue would still be flagged at the appropriate level.
The cabinet was told that an amount of Rs4.5 billion was required to carry out the repatriation of illegal foreigners from Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Larkana divisions. The cabinet after discussion approved the funds outside the budget allocations.
The CM directed the home minister to provide necessary support of the police to the district administration for the repatriation of illegal foreigners.
The Secretary of Food informed the cabinet that the procurement target of wheat was set at 1400,000 tons in February 2023. The procurement was made at 777,258 and the carry forward stocks were 42,525 MT. In this way, the total stock with the provincial government came to 819,803 MMT which showed a shortfall of 580,197 MT.
The provincial government has already demanded 500,000 MT of wheat from the federal government which has started arriving. Now, the food department has to release the wheat to the flour mills for which the cabinet has to approve the release policy and issue price.
The cabinet discussing the wheat release policy decided that the flour mills found defaulters in any kind of misappropriation of government wheat/ irregularity in payment of government dues such as cost of wheat, and markup, shall be released wheat upon payment of dues.
The cabinet decided to release the wheat at Rs10,500 per 100/kg bag from November 10. After discussion and deliberation, the provincial cabinet decided to fix the support price of wheat for crops 2023-24 at a rate of Rs4000 per maund.
The cabinet was told that the food department procures wheat as per the target and support price fixed by the cabinet/government. The department borrows from banks to Finance State Trading of wheat. These loans are backed by Cash Credit Limit (CCLs) / Federal Guarantees issued by the federal government every quarter.
On the directives of the cabinet [previous govt], the food dept with the support of the finance dept prepared a Debt retirement plan. The Finance Department with the approval of the previous govt/cabinet decided to conduct 10-year audits of the food department expenditures to streamline the State Trading activities and process. The stock position on the ground would be audited by the concerned deputy commissioners. A CFO would also be appointed for internal audit, accounting of the Food Department, and surveillance of trading activities to stem further debt accumulation.

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