KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Saturday rejected the objections on the proposed Sindh Accountability Bill 2017 by Sindh Governor Zubair Umar and approved the draft and sent the bill to the provincial assembly for approval.
The cabinet meeting, which was held under Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at New Sindh Secretariat, approved six different bills. The cabinet meeting, after discussing objections made by the governor on the act, which was passed by Sindh Assembly, rejected the objection, unanimously, approved the draft bill and referred it to the assembly. Talking to reporters, after the cabinet meeting, Law Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar said that the meeting has also approved the cancellation of the "Removal from Service Ordinance", enhancement of disabled persons' quota in government jobs and approval of captive power plant subsidy bills. "After 18th Amendment, provinces have right to constitute their own laws," said Lanjar.
Sindh Accountability Act 2017 would apply to all office-holders who are performing their functions in connection with affairs and employment of the government funds in the province.
The Sindh Accountability Agency would be headed by its chairperson. There would be an Accountability Commission consisting of chairperson, advocate general, prosecutor general of the agency; director general and director investigation.
The chairperson would be a judge of the Sindh High Court or is qualified to be a judge of high court; civil servant of grade 21 or above with proven competence, good reputation and high integrity.
The chairperson shall be nominated by a parliamentary committee of Sindh Assembly consisting of six members, three each from treasury and opposition named by the leader of the House and the leader of opposition. The committee shall be headed by the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly.
The Sindh Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Act, 1991 and Rules made there under have been repealed and all cases pending with the Anti-Corruption Establishment under the repealed Act, employees recruited by the Anti-Corruption Establishment and all assets and liabilities, including furniture, fixtures machinery and vehicles shall stand transferred to the Agency.
The other items that were discussed during the cabinet meeting were the establishment of "Sindh Forensic Science Laboratory" at Karachi with the objective is to create a facility for forensic examination of material, documents etc. for presentation before Courts, Tribunals or other legal authorities. In the lab there would be different facilities such as audio-visual analysis, computer forensics, crime Scene & death Scene Investigation; DNA & serology, forensic photography, narcotics, toxicology, trace chemistry, polygraph; fire arm & tool marks, latent fingerprints; pathology and questioned documents. PC-I of the laboratory project has already been approved with a cost of Rs 2.7 billion. The project will complete in 30 months.
The cabinet approved the Sindh Forensic Science Agency Act 2017 for its placement before the assembly. The cabinet also discussed enhancement of quota for disabled persons from two percent to five percent.
Under the Sindh Civil Servants Act, 1973 there is to percent quota of disabled persons in government jobs which the cabinet increased to five percent. The cabinet approved the placement of the amendment before the assembly.
The cabinet discussing The Removal From Service (Special Powers) Sindh, Sindh Ordinance 2000 for which advocate general read out the statement which says "the law that confers arbitrary powers on the competent authority in violation of the fundamental rights conferred by the constitution and the law, specific laws relating to this subject are already in the field, hence this law is not required." The cabinet approved to repeal it.
The other item the cabinet discussed was The Sindh New Captive Power Plants Subsidy Bill 2017 passed by the Sindh assembly has been referred back to the provincial assembly for reconsideration.
The cabinet discussed the objections raised by the governor and said that the subsidy was being given for specific purpose to reduce load-shedding on local level where powers plants are installed. Therefore, the bill is not in contravention of any law and is only based for the benefit of general public.
Published in Daily Times, July 23rd , 2017.