Sindh cabinet approves Rs2bn program for small, interest-free loans – Journal

KARACHI: The government of Sindh, as part of a “pro-poor economic stimulus program”, has decided to launch an independent employment program of the chief minister to provide small interest-free loans to the people .

The move was made at a cabinet meeting held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at CM House. The meeting brought together all relevant provincial ministers, councilors, chief secretary and secretaries.

The cabinet, on the recommendation of the heritage committee, approved a request from the owner of a building, Homie Katrak Chamber, Plot CL-9/22/7, Abdullah Haroon Road-Hoshang Road, for the addition and modification of the building heritage.

The compound of the building would remain the same with the rebirth and inside the compound a 27-story building would be constructed.

Regarding the loan program, the chief minister said the Covid-19 situation has turned a large number of people into unemployment or underemployment.

“Now is the time to introduce a pro-poor economic package where small, interest-free loans can be offered to people to start their small businesses or strengthen their ongoing business activities,” he said and added that he could save Rs 2 billion in the current fiscal year to start the scheme.

27-storey structure to be built on a heritage site

Cabinet members approved the proposal and named it the Chief Minister’s Independent Employment Program. They unanimously demanded an increase in its budgetary allocation for the benefit of a greater number of people.

He formed a committee under the leadership of the President of Planning and Development, Mohammad Waseem, with the finance and law secretaries as members to work out the details of the program.

The meeting learned that Akhuwat Islamic Microfinance, a non-governmental organization, offered interest-free loans to the poor so that they could start their small businesses. Their recovery rate was 100 percent.

The NGO representative gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet and they tasked the P&D chairman to meet with them and share their model with the cabinet at their next meeting to be held before Ramazan.

Billboard Policy

Local government secretary Najam Shah told the cabinet that a billboard and hoarding policy had been developed in light of Supreme Court orders.

He said that according to the policy, billboards must be constructed and installed according to the standard height, size and restrictions.

The cabinet approved the policy. However, a committee headed by Local Government Minister Nasir Husain Shah was formed to further refine the policy.

Allocation of land

The provincial cabinet approved a proposal to allocate 13 acres of land to Jamia Islamia in Deh Tore, taluka Murad Memon, district of Malir, at a rate of Rs10 million per acre for amenity purposes. The price of the land was set by the District Pricing Committee.

Special court

The cabinet was informed that the 2020 Sindh Cooperative Societies Act has been implemented. Under the law, a new special court will be established to hear cases involving companies.

Previously, cases were decided by arbitration.

The cabinet asked the Department of Cooperatives to contact the Chief Justice of the High Court of Sindh for the establishment of a special court for this purpose.

UPSP unit

The Sindh Cabinet, considering the performance of the Urban Policy Directorate and Strategic Planning Unit, approved it as a department attached to the Planning and Development Council with a budget of 143.618 million rupees.

The Department of Urban Policy and Strategic Planning is responsible for providing technical support for the planning and development of urban land on a provincial scale in a short, medium and long term framework through the development policies, plans and studies.

Karachi-Wuhan Brotherhood

The cabinet learned that the Pakistani ambassador to China had informed the Sindh government that the Hubei provincial government wanted to establish a sister-province relationship between Sindh and Hubei province and a sister relationship between Karachi and Wuhan. The Wuhan administration has completed its internal process to appoint an important place on the Yangtze River bank as the place of Pakistan-China friendship.

The cabinet was informed that the administration of Karachi will also undertake procedures to appoint an important public square / road on a similar model as a special gesture of friendship on a reciprocal basis.

The cabinet also approved the rules of the Sindh Workers’ Social Protection Fund, 2021.

In addition, it approved the appointment of Zulfikar Ali as Managing Director of Sindh Modaraba Management Limited.

Posted in Dawn, le 2 April 2021

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