Sindh cabinet forms body to amend law, rules to stop issuance of fake domiciles/PRCAuthority formed to manage graveyards


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over a cabinet meeting here at CM House on Tuesday directed all the divisional commissioners to scrutinize all the domiciles/PRC certificates issued in all the districts during the last three years and report him within 60 days so that decision in the misuse of domicile/PRC could be taken accordingly and and stop such practice for good. He also directed the chief secretary to fix the responsibility on the officers/officials involved in issuing fake domiciles/PRC certificates so that exemplary punishments could be awarded to them.The meeting was attended by all the ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Advocate General Sindh Salman Talibuddin and other concerned officers.The cabinet raised the issue of misuse of Sindh domicile/PRC certificates by non-residents of the province for obtaining admission in educational institutes and government jobs, both federal and provincial, against the quota reserved for residents of the province. Domicile/PRC: It may be noted that the chief minister had constituted a committee under the Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) in May 2020 to probe into the matter of misuse of domicile/PRC certificates. The committee probed into the process of issuance of domicile/PRC in four districts- Larkano, Kashmore-Kandhkot, Ghotki and Jamshoro and submitted a report.According to the report 423 cases were examined, of them 154 were declared suspicious in four districts on various grounds. ACS Home Qazi Shahid Pervez briefing the cabinet said that the deputy commissioners have delegated the responsibility of issuing domicile/PRC certificates to ADCs /ACs and no field enquiry was being conducted. He added that the processing/approval sheet showed a `mechanical’ process, without application of mind, by the concerned staff/ authority.It was pointed out that a private company was tasked to do the important work of domicile/PRC without adequate checks and balances. The Important documents like the affidavit were not administered properly and many were found defective. Most of the required documents required as ‘proof of residence’ were not attested / verified. Sindh Chief Minister, after thorough discussion with the cabinet members, said that the Domicile Certificate was wrongly used as a proof for permanent residence at a particular place. He added that under Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 domicile was the certificate of citizenship of Pakistan and did not limit it to any province or a particular place. Similarly, Pakistan Citizenship Rules, 1952 declares it for Permanent Residence in Pakistan, he said and added the Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) is a document of residence in a particular area. Mr Shah, with the approval of the cabinet, constituted a committee to review the rules of domicile and PRC and suggest amendments. The committee comprises Minister Revenue Makhdoom Mahboob, MinisterIrrigation Jam Khan Shoro, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab and Senior Member Board of Revenue. The chief minister directed all the divisional commissioners to conduct a detailed scrutiny of the domiciles/PRCs issued in their districts during the last three years and submit a report. Meanwhile, the chief minister directed the IT department to develop a database of the domiciles/PRCs.School clustering policy: The school education department presented a `School Clustering policy’ under which a group of geographically neighboring interconnected schools working in a certain area and characterized by common activities would be clustered. Minister of Education Sardar Shah said that in Sindh the Schools were widespread in different categories such as Primary, Middle, Elementary, High & Higher Secondary schools. Most of the primary schools in rural areas were vulnerable, isolated two-room one teacher schools. He added that there was a need for a mechanism to strengthen these isolated schools through clustering. Each Cluster will have one main school called Hub School, remaining schools are grouped with the hub of the cluster.The policy is originally aimed at effectively addressing issues of isolation of rural schools due to large distances, non-availability of teachers, inadequate resources and non-availability of opportunities of professional development. The cabinet approved the proposal and the chief minister directed the education department to work out a detailed survey of the children presently out of school and take measures to bring them back to school. Upgradation Policy: The cabinet also approved the `Up-gradation’ policy of schools from Primary to Elementary. Under the policy, the school located in rural area with an enrolment of 20 boys in class-V and have a `catchment area schools’ with an enrolment of 30 boys in class-V and have no post-primary school within three kilometres would qualify to be upgraded.The girls primary school with an enrolment of 15 girls in class-V should be upgraded if it has the catchment area schools of more students and has no other post-primary girls school within a distance of two kilometres.In Urban areas, the up-gradation of a Primary boys school to Elementary School would have the criteria of enrolment of 20 boys in class V, and 30 boys in the catchment area school with no post-primary school in vicinity. The criteria for upgradation of girls primary school has been fixed at 15 girls in class V and 30 in the catchment area schools. A similar criteria for upgradation from elementary to middle school and to high school has been approved. Manzil-e-Sukoon: The Sindh cabinet, after considerable deliberations, approved establishment of Sindh Manzil-e-Sukoon Authority law with the objective to establish, manage and regulate model cemeteries or graveyards and crematoriums. It would also provide to the public cemetery services, funeral, crematory, transfer services and other related services. Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab said that there were innumerable historical and public graveyards in the entire province, where many famous saints, poets, politicians, intellectuals, freedom fighters and departed souls from amongst the local population in millions were resting for centuries. He added that out of these some historical graveyards were looked after by various provincial departments, local government at UC level, communities, societies and others.According to Murtaza Wahab majority of public graveyards were running out of space and prevailing in most neglected state and deplorable conditions.It may be noted that there are 203 graveyards in Karachi, of them 184 are for Muslims and 19 for non-Muslims. Murtaza Wahab said that 90 graveyards were under the control of local government, 106 by societies such as DHA, PQA, CAA and steel mills. He added that seven were under the control of cantonment boards and six graveyards were banned for burial due to lack of space. The chief minister said that according to a study, the death ratio in Pakistan was 6.89 per 1000. The estimated requirement for graves per year is 10,000 to 12,000. He added that more or less the same requirement could be assumed in other parts of the province.The meeting was told that the rates for burial in graveyards range from Rs45,000 to 100,000. The dead body carrier bus service fares have been recorded at Rs1700 for Karachi and some welfare organizations have concessional rates.It was pointed out that the graveyards have been trespassed by a large number of unauthorized persons and innumerable structures have been constructed on graveyards land. First the grabber threw garbage and then released sewage to keep the graves submerged in dirty water. When they disappear after some time, grabbers occupy that area by applying such modus operandi. Then start to construct houses and shops or any other activity over that land – means deceased are not safe from grabber’s mischief in their graves, the meeting observedKeeping in view all these conditions and situations, the cabinet approved the draft `The Sindh Manzil-e-Sukoon Authority Bill-2021 and referred it to the assembly. Health dept: The cabinet on the request of the health department extended the contract with HANDS and MERF under Public Private Partnership for another six months. The MERF as private partner with health dept is operating 13 health facilities in district Thatta and Sujawal while HANDS has 34 health units in district Malir. Their contract period was for five years which expired in August 2021. The cabinet directed the health department to monitor the performance of both the partners and report to the government. SKAA budget: The cabinet approved the budget of Rs 410.102 millions of Sindh Katchi Abadi Authority for the year 2021-22. The cabinet also allowed the Information department and Sindh Services Academy to purchase vehicles for their requirements. The cabinet also approved the appointment of Najmi Alam as vice chairman of Karachi Water & Sewerage Board.


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