City News

‘Sindh govt alone can’t be held responsible if public transport projects missing in Karachi’

Sindh law and environment adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab has said the provincial government alone could not be held responsible if Karachi lacked projects of public transport.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the adviser, who also acts as the spokesman for the Sindh government, posed a counter-question to media persons and asked during whose regime the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) service had come to an end.

He said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the past had remained part of both the federal and Sindh governments. Wahab said the federal government had issued a sovereign guarantee for the Orange Line Metro Train Service in Karachi, while no such sovereign guarantee had been provided in the case of the project to revive the KCR. He demanded that the federal government should extend support to revive the KCR in the same manner it had provided assistance to build the Orange metro train service in Lahore.

Wheat target

Wahab said Sindh in the current year had produced 3,852,000 metric tonnes of wheat, while Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkwa had failed to meet their wheat production targets. In such a situation, he said, the federal authorities had no basis to blame Sindh for the wheat crisis in the country.

He said the Sindh government had also met its wheat procurement target for the year, while the federal and Punjab governments had failed to do so. The federal agency – PASSCO (Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation) — was supposed to procure 1.8 million tonnes of wheat, but in actual it had procured only 1.1 million tonnes of wheat. He said the federal government in order to hide its own inefficiency had been trying to shift the blame onto the Sindh government despite the fact that the province had met both its wheat production and procurement targets.

Barrister Wahab said the Sindh government had advised the Centre to increase its wheat procurement price to Rs2,000 per 40 kilograms as the current procurement price of Rs1,400 was way too less given the rising cost being incurred on wheat production.

He blamed the federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for the prevailing wheat shortage in the country, saying that the federal government was willing to generously pay the importers of wheat in the country, but there wasn’t any such benefit for the farmers during the present regime. He said the parliament had become an inactive institution during the PTI regime.

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