Sindh Cabinet okays creation of water commission, devolves SBCA

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The provincial cabinet in its around five hours prolonged sitting approved important Water Act, devolution of Sindh Building Control Authority to the divisional level, upgraded posts of town officers from Grade BS-11 to BS-16 and approved Rs1million compensation for government employees dying due to coronavirus.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah here at CM House and attended by provincial ministers, advisors, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and other concerned secretaries.

Sindh Water Act: The local government department presented Sindh Water act 2020 in the cabinet. It has 11 chapters and three scheduled.

Water Commission: Under the draft act Sindh water Resource Commission has been established under the chief ministers.

Chief secretary will be its vice chairman, provincial ministers- finance, Irrigation, environment, PHED, agriculture, industries, local government, forest and health would be its members.

Chairman P&D and water experts would also be its board members. The powers and duties of the commission include water conservation, redistribution, augmentation of water resources in the province.

It would be authorized to allocate water resources for domestic, agricultural, ecological, industrial or other purposes.

It will also be its duty to maintain, improve and develop wildlife and fisheries in bodies of water from which water is drawn or is discharged.

Water& Sewerage Service: In Chapter three of the water act, Sindh Water Services regulatory Authority (SWSRA) has been created with the powers to ensure that the duties and functions of water service providers are discharged properly.

To ensure that the duties and functions of sewerage services providers are discharged in accordance with the law.

The SWSRA would have the powers to approve, determine or revise tariffs for water and sewerage service providers.

The government may appoint a company, a local government or a statutory authority to be the water service provider or sewerage Service Provider for any area.

In the draft act regulations for preventing contamination of water have been suggested.

Subsidy to farmers: The agriculture department told the meeting that the federal government has announced a subsidy package for farmers during Kharif 2021 for fertilizers (DAP), cotton seed and white-fly.

The subsidy on Fertilizers (DAP) for rice and cotton has been offered for 70 percent of the total area under cultivation at a rate of Rs15,00 per acre in which the federal government would pay 75 percent share and Sindh government share would be 25 percent.

The federal government would pay Rs2.7 billion while Sindh government would have to pay 902 million.

Subsidy on cotton seed has been offered for 66 percent of the total area under cultivation at a rate of Rs1200 per acre.

The subsidy for whitefly control has been offered for 70 percent of the area at a rate of Rs1200 per acre.

It may be noted that in Sindh cotton is grown over an area of 1.5 million acres, and rice on 2 million acres. According to these figures Sindh needs a subsidy on 3.5 million acres.

The cabinet approved the subsidy package offered by the federal government and constituted a committee to work out a mechanism for giving away the subsidy package.

The meeting was told that Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) was a self-financing and resource generating authority.

Besides fee received against approval of Building plans, grant of Completion Certificates, issuance of licenses to professionals and builders and NOCs.

The chief minister said that the SBCA has a heavy workload, therefore it was proposed to devolve it to the divisional level.

The meeting was told that 184 Town Officers were appointed in 2010 in grade BS-11. The Minister Local Government Nasir Shah requested the cabinet to upgrade the position of Town officers from grade BS-11 to BS-16.

The cabinet approved a request of the local government department to purchase 62 small size, 800 cc pickups for transpiration of street dogs from the original local to veterinary hospital and from hospital to back their locations.

The dogs would be vaccinated under Rabies control program me and would also be neutralized to control their population.

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