KARACHI: Sindh Public Private Partnership (PPP) Board has decided to hand over Sindh basic education program projects and training institutes to private parties under PPP mode.The board, in its 27th meeting held under chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah decided that different projects of education, health, agriculture and infrastructure would be launched under PPP mode. The PPP Board also decided to complete contract out process on merit basis and hand over these to private partners. Education secretary Qazi Shahid Parvez while presenting on Sindh Basic Education Program informed that 25 schools in flood affected areas of Sindh would be handed over to well-reputed Education Management Organisations (EMO). It is worth mentioning that the program is being run by Sindh government and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The meeting was informed that the Sindh Education Department had decided to operate these schools through PPP by selecting organisations of repute through a competitive process. The board then decided to issue a Letter of Award (LOA) and sign the contract. The school education department proposed in the meeting that credible EMOs be relegated the task of managing and improving Teacher Training Institute in Hussainabad, Karachi by introducing innovative techniques aimed at modernising education system, addressing management gaps and maintaining as well as upgrading institute’s building and facilities.CM Murad commented that in addition to being punctual, teachers should also be professional enough to take classes. “We have to strengthen and improve our teachers training institutes in partnership with private sector,” he added. He said that private management, which would be selected through a competitive process, would also have the authority to appoint professional trainers for teachers’ training. He said that while the government would pay salaries of teachers and others staff, its private partners would have to run training institute on professional basis. The PPP Board also discussed handing over of 37 schools of Islamkot to Thar Foundation. CM said that the provincial government was a major partner of Thar Foundation and handing over 37 schools of education department to Thar Foundation would not be a big issue. The Board also approved hiring of professional transaction advisor and consultant for the project.The health department representatives told the meeting that four state of the art Regional Blood Centres (RBC) had been established in Sukkur, Jamshoro, Shaheed Benazirabad and Karachi with the assistance of German Development Bank. They told the meeting that these RBCs had been contracted out to private partners through a proper procedure. The meeting was informed that the RBCs in Jamshoro and Sukkur had been given to Indus Hospital and Sukkur Blood and Drug Donating Society while RBC Karachi was being given to Dr Ziauddin Hospital and RBC Shaheed Benazirabd to Fatmid Foundation. The PPP Policy Board approved handing over of RBCs to private partners. The PPP Policy Board in a separate decision directed National Institute of Child Health (NICH) to extend safety and security contract and invite bids for the purpose. The meeting was told that Badin District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ) was being run by Indus Hospital on PPP mode. The PPP Policy Board approved to give one time grant of Rs 1.08 billion (bn) to the hospital to stock up on necessary equipment and repair the building.Ghotki-Kandhkot Bridge project was also tabled in PPP Policy Board meeting. CM said that Sindh was almost bisected by River Indus and both the banks were inhabited by a large number of people. He said that Ghotki, which was an emerging industrial area, was on one side on the riverbank and Kandhkot located on proposed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was on the other bank. The meeting was informed that distance between Kandhkot and Ghotki via Guddu Barrage was 151 kilometers (km) and a bridge connecting Ghotki and Kandhkot would reduce this distance from 151 km to 30 km. The board was further told that arrangements had been made to complete the project on PPP basis. The board then accorded approval to finalise the process.The Agriculture Department tabled the establishment of mango processing unit on Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Road. The meeting was told that the unit would have the facility of mechanised washing and grading, value added segment, blast chillers, packaging and labeling, micro-biology and quality control laboratory etc and it would cost over Rs 1.5 bn. The board directed department to re-tender the project and select a successful bidder.Some technical aspects of Malir Expressway also came under discussion. The meeting was told that seven bidders have already filed their technical proposals. The meeting also approved to invite fresh bids for Bus Rapid Transit Blue Line infrastructure project.Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Mumtaz Shah, Sindh ministers, Dr Azra Pechuho, Sardar Shah, Muhammad Ismail Rahu, Saeed Ghani, Owais Shah, P&D chairman Muhammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM, Sajid Jamal Abro and other secretaries attended the meeting.Published in Daily Times, December 14th 2018.