KARACHI - After failure from the candidates to secure passing marks in the teachers’ qualification test conducted by the IBA Sukkur, the Sindh government has decided to lower the bar for women, minorities, differently-abled people and those coming from what it called “hard areas”.
The decision was made in the provincial cabinet meeting and shared by Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah during a presser. He said that the School Education Department had announced 23,510 vacancies for Primary School Teachers (PST) and 14,039 for Junior Elementary School (JEST) against which 184,209 candidates appeared for PST and 164,319 for JEST.
“After the test, 11,549 qualified for PST and 1,385 for JEST,” he said while sharing that number of qualified candidates remained far below the available seats especially for JEST.
He said that the cabinet discussed the situation and decided to waive the condition of 45 percent marks and 50 percent marks were approved for minorities and girls and 33 percent for “hard areas” and differently-abled persons to qualify the test.
“In this way the vacancies would be filled to run the schools which are facing dearth of teachers,” he said and added the left over candidates who have qualified the test under the newly approved criteria would be placed on waiting list for one year.
The chief minister announced that owing to an unprecedented Tsunami of price hike in the country, the provincial government has decided to provide relief to the low paid employees in public and private sector and would ensure strict implementation on Rs25,000 minimum wage.
“For the purpose we are setting up a forum at the Labour and Industries departments to ensure proper implementation of government decisions in the public as well as private sector.” Shah said that the cabinet unanimously has expressed serious reservations against defective, immature, and unrealistic policies which have ended up in a record price hike in which even white-collar people are unable to afford square meals for their families. “This is quite a painful situation,” he said.
Responding to federal government criticism over delay in release of wheat in the province and hike in flour prices, Murad Ali Shah said that the hike was caused after the federal government had failed to stop wheat smuggling this year. “In Sindh, Rs77 per kg flour is available,” he said and further claimed that the Rs55 per kg flour was not even fit for cattle consumption.
The chief minister, replying to a question regarding Malir Expressway said that its alignment was changed a bit to save some old villages but with the change of alignment cost of the project has increased. The change in alignment was not acceptable to some of the stakeholders; therefore, his government has decided to take all the stakeholders on board. He added that this was the reason that the project has been delayed.
Health management cadre
The health department proposed establishment of a Health Management Cadre (HMC) of doctors, who qualified with MPh to be posted on the administrative posts, after making necessary amendments in the recruitment rules.
The proposed amendment in the recruitment rules of doctors of BS-18, BS-19 and BS-20, including enhancement of eligibility criteria/qualification and method of appointment for doctors on administrative positions under HMC.
Under the new arrangement, 60 percent doctors would be appointed on HMC by promotion from Grade BS-17 having at least five-year service in grade BS-17 and 10 percent amongst grade BS-18 senior medical officers and 30 percent by initial appointment through the Public Service Commission. The cabinet after thorough consideration approved the amendment in the rules and the proposal of establishing HMC in the health department.
Eight health units
given to PPHI
The provincial cabinet on the recommendation of the health department approved handing over of eight health facilities to PPHI in Larkana district. They include three taluka hospitals of Arija, Ratodero and Dokri. 50-bedded hospital Garhi Khuda Bux, 100-bedded hospital Naudero, three Rural Health Centres (RHCs) of Badah, Bangul Dero and Garello.
The cabinet also constituted a committee comprising Minister Energy Imtiaz Shaikh, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, Chairman PPHI Board of Directors, Secretary GA and Secretary Health to restructure Board of Governors of PPHI as per the Public Sector Companies rules 2013 and remove anomalies, if any.
200-acre land for Navy
On the request of Pakistan navy, the provincial cabinet approved allotment of 200-acre land from NC No 255 of Deh Lal Bakhar on 99 years lease to Pakistan Navy for residential purpose- Navy Cooperative Housing Society.
The cabinet also approved to transfer 433.25 acres of land stretching over 36km from Vajihar to Thar Block-II to Sindh Engro Coal Mine Company (SECMC) for laying pipe for water supply scheme.
Vehicles for Crime Scene Unit
The cabinet was told that the Crime Scene Unit (CSU) were being established and the government has worked out a plan to establish CSU in 31 police districts of the province for which Rs194.4 million have been allocated.
The cabinet approved the plan to functionalise eight units in Karachi range and 23 in districts of the rest of the province. The units would be established in SSP offices. The cabinet also approved procurement of designated vehicles for all the 31 units for Rs177.281 million.
Sindh Secretariat Services Bill
The provincial cabinet approved the Provincial Assembly of Sindh Secretariat Services Bill, 2021 just to regulate the recruitment and the conditions of the services of persons appointed in the Secretariat of the Sindh Assembly.
The cabinet referred the bill to the provincial assembly for discussion and approval.
The Sindh Urban Immovable Property Tax Act, 1958 under which the government may, by notification, for reasons to be recorded, remit in whole or part, the payment of tax by any class of persons in respect of any category of property in any rating area.
After the amendment the provincial government would be able to provide relief to its citizens in case of any natural calamity such as Earthquake, Flood, Pandemic etc.
Progress of uplift portfolio
The meeting was told that Rs138.384 billion have been allocated for 1,646 on-going schemes against which Rs60.894 billion have been released while the expenditures have been recorded at Rs28.547 billion. The 1,669 new schemes launched for Rs84.116 billion have been provided Rs208 million and most of them were in the process of approval.
The cabinet was told that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit has completed several projects including Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Dual Carriageway, Sir Aga Khan Jhirk-Mullakatiar Bridge on River Indus, Karachi-Thatta dual carriageway.
It was pointed out that work on the Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge was in progress. The 2km bridge project has been launched for Rs14 billion and would be completed in July 2023.
Apart from two kilometers bridge it has 14.80 km approaching road from Ghotki side and 15.2km road from Kandhkot side and4.5 km link road.