KARACHI : Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over a cabinet meeting approved the lifting of the ban on recruitment in the provincial government departments and also granted an extension to the doctors, nurses and other staff who were appointed during the COVID-19 pandemic until June 30, 2024.

The meeting was held at the CM House and was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, Chief Secretary, PSCM, Chairman P&D, and concerned secretaries.

Lifting of ban on recruitment: The Sindh government of Murad Ali Shah at completion of its last tenure had imposed a ban on recruitment in the government department. The cabinet members told the chair that there were thousands of posts of lower grades lying vacant in government departments. Lifting the ban on recruitment not only improves the working of the departments but the youth would get employees opportunities, the cabinet members.

The chief minister with the consent of the cabinet members approved the lifting of the ban on recruitment in government departments and directed the Law Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and the Advocate General to pursue the case in the court and get the stay order issued against the recruitment vacated.

At the request of Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah the cabinet allowed School Education dept to continue the recruitment process of PST/JEST as per Teachers Recruitment Policy 2021 through IBA Sukkur.

Extension of COVID-19 Doctors & others: Minister Health Dr Azar Fazal and Secretary Health Rehan Baloch briefing the cabinet said that the Health Department on the directives of the chief minister had appointed doctors, nurses, para-medical, skilled and supporting staff on a “Service Rendered Basis” for 89 days in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020.

Subsequently, on the recommendation of the health department the COVID-19 doctors, and nurses were allowed extensions in their hiring period from time to time up to 30th June 2023. Later on, under the orders passed by the Sindh High Court, Karachi on March 17, 2023, the Health Department referred the 824 doctors and 324 staff nurses to the SPSC to ascertain their suitability.

The SPSC has recommended only 260 suitable COVID-19 Staff Nurses out of 324, however, the result of COVID-19 doctors is still awaited.

The cabinet on the recommendation of the health department approved an Extension of 705 COVID-19 doctors and Staff Nurses for a further period of one year from July 2023 to June 2024. The extension of 374 Technical & Supporting Para-Medical Staff and 2,957 Skilled and Supporting human resources for CVCs from 1st April 2023 to June 2024 was also approved as per the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee. The CM also approved an amount of Rs.2,036.785 million to pay their salaries during CFY-2023-24.

Operationalisation of 50 dispensaries: At the request of the Health Department, the cabinet approved the handover of 50 government dispensaries (GDs) to PPHI Sindh along with HR and operational costs of Rs.120,799,950 from Sindh Human Capital Investment 1000 Days Integrated Health & Population Program “SIHPP” budgetary allocation for three months w.e.f. April 2024.

Procurement: At the request of the Health Department, the cabinet allowed the department to procure Drugs / Medicines, Surgical items, tenders of the Hepatitis Control Program, T.B Control Program and HIV/AIDS Control Program on the approved tender rates of 2022-23,

Counterpart funding for KWSSIP: The Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP) has been launched by Karachi Water & Sewerage Corporation to improve access to safe water services in Karachi and to increase KWSB’s financial and operational performance.

There are three components of the project, including $7 million in Operational reform, $77 million in Infrastructure investments and $16 million in Project Management and Studies. The World Bank and AIIB are providing 40 per cent funds each and the Sindh government has to provide 20 per cent funds.

The cabinet was told that according to Project Director KWSSIP as per the agreement, there is a 20 per cent counterpart commitment from the Sindh government. As the project has entered its 5th year, however, there is a meagre allocation from Sindh the government. As per agreement the Sindh government allocation for F.Y 2023-24 should have been Rs. 1.5 billion ($9.6 million).

The cabinet after discussions approved an amount of Rs646.756 million as counterpart funding of the Sindh government.

Grant-in-Aid: The Secretary HEC told the cabinet that the Vice-Chancellor of Larkano University has made a request of Rs1000 million for salaries, operational expenses, civil work, external development, and electrification as Seed Money. The cabinet after discussion approved Rs400 million for the purpose.

Amendment in SPPRA Rules: The SPPRA Board recommended three amendments to SPP Rules, 2010 to the provincial cabinet for consideration and approval. The amendments are as follows:

Sindh Revenue Board has proposed an amendment in Rule 46(1)(a)(iii) in the light of the amendment in the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act, 2011 which stipulates that the persons providing or rendering any taxable services should be active taxpayers as per Sindh Revenue Board’s Active Taxpayer List (SRB-ATL).

Amendment in Rule-16(1)(a)(iii)(A) of SPP Rules were notified (vide Notification dated 26.10.2023) in which the financial ceiling of Request for Quotation Method of Procurement was revised from Rs300,000 to Rs500,000.

However, an amendment in Rule-17(1) is also required which is in line with the amendment in Rule-16(1)(a)(iii)(A) of SPP Rules to clear the ambiguity in the Rule.

Bid Security shall be released to the unsuccessful bidders within seven days, once the contract has been signed with the successful bidder or the validity period has expired.

The cabinet approved the amendment proposals.


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