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Sindh has reservations over gas, energy & NFC award, says Qaim

Sindh has reservations over gas, energy & NFC award, says Qaim

MULTAN: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said on Sunday that the Sindh government stood with the federal government on some issues, but there were certain matters on which it had reservations with the federation.

Talking to journalists here, the chief minister said: “We are with the federal government and have respect for it but we also have reservations on some issues like energy, gas, National Finance Commission Award and the implementation on 18th Amendment.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a good person and he visits Sindh in connection with the law and order situation but he never addressed our reservations over energy, health and education,” Mr Shah complained.

The chief minister said that powers had not been devolved to provinces as far as health, education and other sectors were concerned.

He said the federal government had not extended the NFC Award despite the fact that it had completed five years.

“Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was asked to play his role for the extension of the NFC award, but he did not respond to the provincial government’s request,” the chief minister said.

Referring to power situation in the province, Mr Shah said that the province had resources to generate electricity from coal and wind.

He said that the cost of a power unit in Sindh, Punjab and other areas of the country was Rs17 to Rs18, but it could be brought down to Rs9 from coal.

The chief minister said that 20 licences had been issued to various companies to generate electricity from coal.

He said the Sindh government had no objection to the arrest of Uzair Baloch.

“We have no differences with the federal government over the arrest of Uzair Baloch as all criminals should be arrested,” he said.

He said the provincial government did not know when Baloch had been arrested as some reports suggested he had been arrested earlier.

Referring to law and order situation in Sindh, Mr Shah said that it had deteriorated in the province over past 30 years, but it was now improving for a couple of years.

He said that corruption existed in all parts of the country and Sindh was not alone in that sense and institutions like National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency were there to take action against those elements who were involved in this.

Meanwhile, Mr Shah participated in a marriage ceremony during his stay here besides visiting the Gilani House to condole the death of Asad Murtaza Gilani, nephew of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Asad Gilani died in the Mina stampede during Haj.

Mr Gilani’s brother, Ahmed Mujtaba Gilani, received the chief minister along Khawaja Rizwan Alam, PPP information secretary in south Punjab, when Mr Shah arrived here as former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was not present in Multan.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2016