Caretaker Cabinet Approve Funds For Repatriation Of Illegal Foreigners

The Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd.) Maqbool Baqar while presiding over a caretaker cabinet meeting, decided to allocate Rs 4.5 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

KARACHI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 31st Oct, 2023) The Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd.) Maqbool Baqar while presiding over a caretaker cabinet meeting, decided to allocate Rs 4.5 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.

The Chief Minister in consultation with the caretaker cabinet earmarking savings of Rs. 34.19 billion in 2023-24 under the head Subsidies, exclusively for the purpose of clearing outstanding liabilities to commercial banks; decided to allocate Rs. 25 billion for retiring unsecured liabilities in 2023-24 and ordered to release of Rs. 5 billion immediately for payment to banks.

The finance dept would release Rs. 2.000 billion every month till 30th June, 2024. The CM directed the finance department to communicate with the federal government regarding clearing liabilities up to Rs. 25.000 billion in 2023-24.

The provincial cabinet approved a grant of compensation to the victims of the incident at Sakrand, District Nawabshah at a rate of Rs 8 million for the family of each deceased and Rs 2 million for the injured and free education to one child of the deceased.

It may be noted that the incident took place in taluka sakrand, on Sept 28, 2023. Four local people died in the incident and four were inured as per a joint report submitted by the deputy commissioner, deputy commissioner and divisional commissioner Shaheed Benazirabad.

The Health dept told the cabinet that under the National Institute of the Cardiovascular Disease Act 2014, the Executive Director was to be appointed through a competitive process. The process was followed, and Prof Tahir Saghir was selected by the Selection Committee. The cabinet approved the appointment of Prof Tahir Saghir as the new Executive Director of the NICVD.

The cabinet approved the minimum wage of workers at Rs 32,000 per month.

The provincial cabinet amended the Sindh Prohibition of Non-degradable Plastic Products (manufacturing, sale, and usage) Rules 2014. Under the amendment in sub-rule (5) of Rule 3: No scheduled plastic product shall be made in black colour except for garbage sacks and the recycled scheduled plastic products shall be marked as ‘recycled plastic, unsafe for contact with food’. Provided that no carrier bags or shopper bags shall be manufactured except as prescribed in the schedule.

Another amendment in the rules says `Career bags or shopper-bags of more than 40 microns, weighing minimum 6.0 grams and size bigger than 10×14 inches with oxo-biodegradable additive.

The health dept requested the cabinet to approve the transfer of Rs5.1 billion to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Government of Pakistan for Centralized Procurement of vaccines and logistics for the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) during 2023-24, due to Dollar variation. The cabinet approved the proposal.

The cabinet approved the nomination of Caretaker Revenue Minister Younis Dhaga, Caretaker Minister Law Omer Soomro and Chartered Accountant Shabbar Zaidi on the Thar Coal & Energy board.

The cabinet on the recommendation of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPD) approved the constitution of non-official members (private appointees) of, the Provincial Advisory Council for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for six months.

They include Nadira Panjwani, Amin Hashmani, Ronaq Lakhani, Muhammad Akram, Abid Lashari, Richard Geary, Rizwan Lodhi, Marie Adelaide of Leprosy Centre (MALC), Karachi.


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