KARACHI-The treasury and opposition members in Sindh Assembly on Thursday demanded the federal government not to extend K-Electric’s distribution license as well as to induct new power utility companies in Karachi as the post-budget debate entered the third day in which 17 lawmakers from both sides took part.
Hashim Raza of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said that K-Electric’s distribution license was going to be expired on 20th July, demanding that it should not be extended. He was of the view that the KE did not have its own production and as it received electricity from the national grid and just distributed the same. “New power utilities should be inducted in Karachi,” he added.
He also termed the budget ‘copy-pasted’ and said that it was nothing but just a gimmick of numbers. He said that opposition’s suggested schemes had not been incorporated in the budget during last four years, hailing the provincial government for inducting few schemes this time around. Raza said that it was responsibility of the government to protect lives and properties of the citizens, demanding that safe city project should be completed at the earliest.
The MQM-P lawmaker said that his constituency and entire Korangi district had been facing acute water shortage. He said that the provincial government had been providing only 1.8 per cent of available water to Karachi city, demanding to increase the city’s water quota. He demanded that peoples bus service should be started from Landhi to Saddar and Landhi to Tower. PPP’s Raja Razzaque also seconded the suggestion forwarded by the MQM-P lawmaker and said that the KE’s ‘monopoly’ should come to an end in Karachi. He said that the KE carried out up to 18-hour load-shedding citing different reasons.
Razzaque was of the view that other power utility companies should also be inducted in Karachi, adding that it would create competition and eventually benefit the people of Karachi.
Sadaqat Hussain of the MQM-P said that it was the 15th consecutive budget of the PPP government in Sindh and education department’s budget increased year-by-year but to no avail. He asked as if every school in the province had basic facilities including portable water, toilets and boundary wall. He said that his constituency Orangi Town was the largest slum area of Asia, adding that the two biggest issues of the area were water scarcity and poor sewerage system.
Sadaqat said that Orangi Town was nearer to Hub dam yet it was deprived of water. “The people of Orangi Town are still deprived of basic facilities,” he added.
The MQM-P lawmaker expressed severe concerns over increasing crimes in the city and said that it seemed the Karachiites had been left at the mercy of the dacoits. PPP’s Jam Shabbir Ali termed the budget balanced in these circumstances. He said that a record works had been done in the health sector, adding that even the people from abroad visited Sindh to get health facilities. He said that around 60,000 teachers had been appointed on merit and no discrimination was done in the recruitment process. The PPP MPA while hailing the transport ministry for peoples bus service, demanded that the service should also be started in Sanghar.
PPP’s Lal Chand Ukrani, Sajeela Laghari, Hizbullah Bughio, Pir Mujeeb-ul-Huq, Yousuf Baloch, Mumtaz Jakhrani, Sadia Javed, Shaheena Sher Ali; MQM-P’s Basit Ahmed Siddiqui, Abbas Jafferi, Sanjay Perwani, Mangla Sharma and GDA’s Muhammad Rafiq Bhanban also participated in the budget discussion.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister Saeed Ghani speaking on a point of order admitted to take advantage of PTI’s political weakness to get its candidate Barrister Murtaza Wahab elected as Mayor Karachi.
“The PTI is going through tough times as even its founding members are leaving the party and There is no harm in taking advantage of your opponent’s political weakness,” Ghani said on floor of the house. He termed Barrister Murtuza Wahab’s election as Mayor Karachi a ‘historical’ victory for the PPP it managed to win the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation for the first time. He said that it was a wrong impression that the PPP never had the majority in the city council, adding that the party had more numbers in 1979 but its two members were abducted ahead of the mayor election and Jamaat-e-Islami’s candidate had emerged victorious.
“In 2001 too, the PPP had the majority but it was not allowed to have its mayor Karachi,” he said and added that the Jamaat-e-Islami had its mayor only when the MQM boycotted the polls or during dictatorship. Later, the house was adjourned to Friday (today).