Sindh CM Murad dismisses reports of changes to NFC formula

HYDERABAD: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has ruled out any change in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, saying neither the federal government nor any other official has discussed any such amendment.

He made these remarks while talking to reporters at the Hyderabad Press Club on Sunday.

When asked about reports of an IMF suggestion to renegotiate the resource distribution formula among provinces, Mr Shah said he only heard about this in the media.

“I have seen it only in the media because nobody has talked to me regarding any rethink of the NFC resource distribution formula.”

Urges media to ‘not glorify’ bandits; says his govt will focus on improving primary healthcare

He explained that he has held three meetings with the prime minister and two with the finance minister, but nobody has discussed the issue with him.

The Constitution only allowed for the provinces’ share to be increased and it can not be reduced, the CM said.
Under Article 160(3) of the Constitution, provinces get a share of several taxes collected by the Centre, including income tax, sales tax, and export duties. As per the 7th NFC Award signed in December 2009, Punjab share in the pool was 51.74 per cent, Sindh’s 24.55pc, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 14.62pc and Balochistan’s 9.09pc.

‘Don’t glorify dacoits’

While talking about law and order in the province, Mr Shah conceded the situation was “not satisfactory”.

He also urged the media to “avoid glorifying the dacoits” of upper Sindh who kidnapped miners, labourers and members of minority communities.

Regarding the new plan for irrigation in the Cholistan area of Punjab, Mr Shah also said the Sindh government was preparing to raise the issue with the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

The plan included the development of new command areas in Cholistan through Rasul-Qadirabad, Qadirabad-Baloki and Baloki-Sulemanki link canals to irrigate land.

The CM said caretaker governments were in power when the proposal was floated. “We are well aware of this project, and we are also worried about Sindh’s share of water, which can’t be denied under the 1991 Water Accord.”

He added that no government could deviate from the accord.
He added that no government could deviate from the accord.

On a question about the change of Sindh governor, Mr Shah said it was the prime minister’s prerogative. “PPP believes in dialogue with all political parties.”

Talking about the water availability in Sindh, Mr Shah said the shortage in the current season stood at 37pc, although the situation was comparatively better than last year.

Focus on primary healthcare
While giving details of the rehabilitation of those affected by the 2022 floods, he said out of 2.1m houses that were destroyed, 100,000 houses have been rebuilt.

He claimed the provincial government has arranged funding for the reconstruction of all 2.1m homes, which was “a big achievement”.

Currently, 600,000 houses are being rebuilt, he added.

“We are focussing on improving the primary healthcare system as we have already made great strides in tertiary level healthcare facilities”, the CM said.
He said SIUT was Sindh government’s flagship project in the health sector, along with the NICVD and Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences.

Mr Shah said the improvement in primary healthcare would reduce the burden on tertiary-level facilities.

He vowed to improve facilities in Civil Hospital, Hyderabad and also operationalise the Kohsar Medical College in Latifabad by filling the vacant vacancies of doctors.
In the education sector, the CM said 60,000 teachers have been “appointed on merit” and the disbursement under Benazir Kissan and Mazdoor cards would start soon.

The Sindh government was also trying to ensure the provision of free electricity to households consuming 300 units a month.

The government is also planning to lay a railway line from Thar to Keti Bandar through the Special Investment Facilitation Council for the transportation of coal, Mr Shah said, adding the project was a dream of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

He said there are still some financing issues “which are being sorted out”.

Earlier, the chief minister was welcomed by the Hyderabad Press Club Presi­dent Sajid Khanzada upon his arrival.

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