Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that source deduction of over Rs6 billion by FBR in unconstitutional and illegal, therefore he would take up the issues in the CCI meeting being held today in Islamabad, and in case the matter is not resolved, the provincial government would file a case in the court.
This he said while presiding over a preparatory CCI meeting here at the CM House today. The meeting was attended by Minister Information Syed Nasir Shah, Minister for law Zia Lanjar, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Advocate General Zameer Ghumro, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, provincial secretaries and other concerned officers.
The chief minister reacting to a report presented by Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi about at source deduction made by FBR against withholding tax imposed on vehicles, the chief minister said that it was illegal and against the spirit of the agreement between Sindh government and the State Bank of Pakistan.
Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi said that the FBR has deducted over Rs6.2 billion during 2015-16 and recently it has deducted Rs292 million from Sindh government account [Excise & taxation Department] against withholding tax imposed on vehicles.
The chief minister said that he would take up this issue in the CCI meeting and would try to settle it, otherwise the provincial government would be filed a constitutional petition in the court for which he issued necessary directives to Advocate General Zameer Ghumro.
The items on the CCI meeting agenda include, national water Policy, short supplies of water in Pat Feeder and Khirthar Canals, Allocation of additional 1200 cusecs for Karachi (K-IV), Post Devolution Status of EOBI, and Workers Welfare Fund, Matters pertaining to National Water Policy, higher education, import of LNG, national forest policy, senior citizens privileges.
Talking about National Water Policy, the chief minister who also holds the portfolio of Irrigation said just he wanted to secure Katcha areas and their economy and preservation of delta area with the provision of sufficient supplies regularly. He also added that there should be an arrangement of disposal of rain water in plains where it could not be disposed of or diverted to river.
He said he would support the formation of National Water Commission for resolution of water disputes if the chief minister is appointed as its chairman on rotation basis.
Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Balochistan government was claiming monetary compensation on account of short supplies of water. He added that the provincial government has never stopped water meant for Balochistan or cut its share. The claim is not justified, he said.
The chief minister went on saying that 83 outlets have been taken out from Guddu Barrage Command, which divert Sindh’s water to Balochistan which above the share.
Talking about allocation of 1200 cusecs (650.5 MGD) additional water for Karachi City (K-IV Project), the chief minister said that its provision was available in the 1991 water accord. “The present requirement and allocation is 1200 cusecs, requirement by 2020 would be 1800 cusecs while it would be 2400 cusecs by 2025,” he said. He added that he would make all out efforts to approve the request because Karachi is mini Pakistan and people from all other provinces live here.
The meeting was told that the provincial assembly has passed The Sindh Senior Citizens Welfare Bill, 2014 in April 2016. The provincial government has a plan to construct old-age and senior Citizens Homes at Karachi for Rs75.2 million under ADP.
Minister for Information & Labor Syed Nasir Shah briefing the chief minister on Post-devolution status of Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) said that the Sindh government has passed EOBI, WWF and Sindh Companies Profits (Workers Participation) Act.
The Workers Welfare Board has been notified and collection of the contribution has been entrusted to SRB which has collected Rs3.017 billion up to May 2017. He requested the chief minister to urge CCI to stop collecting WWF to the extent of Sindh Province because FBR is still collecting WWF.
Syed Nasir Shah also requested the chief minister to urge CCI to approve the transfer of WWF and EOBI assets and schemes of WWF. He pointed out that there are 1914 different schemes of flats, hospital and school of WWF which should be handed over to Sindh.
Secretary Energy Agha Wasif briefed the chief minister about the plan to provide gas to villages located within five kms of the gas field. He said under the scheme 437 village s would be gasified against Rs3.590 million. The Sindh government’s share comes to Rs2.8 billion. On this the chief minister said that according to the Supreme Court judgment into the case and prime minister’s directives, the federal government/SSGCL is bound to bear all the expenses. Therefore, he would argue in the CCI meeting accordingly.
The Sindh government would take up its earlier stance about higher education commission that it has become provincial subject after 18th Constitution amendment.