KARACHI -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to file a compensation case with the federal government for short supplies of water to the province right from 1991 when the accord was signed.

He took this decision while presiding over a review meeting here at the CM House to discuss the issue of CCI meeting being held in Islamabad today (Tuesday).

In the meeting, the chief minister reviewed each and every agenda item related to the Sindh government and took policy decisions in consultation with the departments concerned. There are a number of items on the agenda which include status review of important decisions of the CCI meeting held on December 16, draft bill of establishment of National Metrology Institute of Pakistan, supply of gas to the villages located within five kilometers of gas field, short supplies of water in Pat Feeder & Kirthar canals, establishment of fiscal coordination committee; implementation of Article 154 of the Constitution; national water policy, allocation of 1,200 cusecs additional water for Karachi and senior citizens’ privileges.

The chief minister said the province of Sindh had been receiving short supplies of water since long, but it was being given less water than its allocated share since 1991 when the accord was signed. As a result, the people of Sindh, particularly, the growers and the government have suffered a huge loss. Therefore, the Sindh government must file its claim.

He directed the irrigation department to work out the details of the water received from 1991 to 2017 and calculate the short supplies so that a vigorous case could be presented in the CCI meeting being held today (Tuesday).

The chief minister, discussing the claim of the Balochistan government, expressed surprise that Sindh had been facing short supplies since long while Balochistan was claiming monetary compensation for short supplies of water to Pat Feeder and Kirthar canals.

Talking about construction of two minors of cumulative discharge of 800 cusecs from Begari Canal for Balochistan, Syed Murad Ali Shah said Begari was a non-perennial canal and was already facing water shortage. “The construction of two minors would deprive the rightful share to the existing users, so Sindh would oppose the request of the Balochistan government,” he said categorically.

Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah briefed the chief minister on the National Water Policy. The chief minister stated the water policy was not a CCI item. “The federal government is bound to give water to the provinces according to their share in the accord. As far as the water policy is concerned, it is the prerogative of a provincial government to frame its own policy in the light of its priorities,” he said.

The finance department briefed the chief minister about the establishment of Fiscal Coordination Committee, on which he said the provincial secretary finance and the SRB chairman should be taken on the committee to discuss the fiscal policy and the issues between the federal and provincial governments.

Syed Murad Ali Shah also said the federal government was reluctant to hand over Employees Old Age Benefit (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Board assets and functions to the provincial governments. The FBR was still recovering workers’ welfare fund, which was illegal and against the spirit of the 18th Constitutional Amendment. Murad added he would write a letter to Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to stop FBR, through a notification, from recovering workers’ funds. “However, the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) has started collecting workers welfare fund and a considerable amount had been recovered, he told the meeting.

The chief minister, accompanied by Sindh Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon flew to Islamabad to attend the CCI meeting being on Tuesday (today).