Karachi - The protest by differently-abled people outside the Sindh Assembly on Monday against the non-implementation of five percent quota reserved for them in government departments yielded positive results on Tuesday as Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah assured them that they would be given jobs on priority basis.

The announcement came a day after the differently-abled protestors were beaten up by police for holding protest outside the Sindh Assembly.

The chief minister met the delegation of differently-abled people in his chamber in the provincial assembly and assured them that all their issues would be resolved on priority basis.

Giving a policy statement on the issue on the floor of the assembly, the chief minister said that he was at the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai when he came to know about the protest by special people outside the assembly.

“I met them today soon after returning from the shrine, and have appointed a lawmaker as a focal person to listen to their grievances and address them,” he said. He said that the government had raised the quota for people with disabilities from 2.5 percent to five percent and they even did not need to submit applications for jobs in separate departments.

“I will be issuing a directive that all applications of the differently-abled people be submitted at the same place and then sent to the concerned departments,” the CM added.

He said that although there had been a delay in the provision of jobs in government departments, but the issue of differently-abled people would be treated differently. Murad also invited members of the delegation to witness proceedings of the provincial assembly.

Opposition protests for not being allowed to speak on sugar cane issue

Earlier, the Sindh Assembly’s session on Tuesday began more than hour-and-a-half late from scheduled timings with Dr Sohrab Khan Sarki in the chair.  The session witnessed protest from opposition parties after the speaker refused to allow them to speak on the issue of not fixing sugar cane prices and starting sugar cane crushing in the province.

Soon after the proceedings began, the opposition lawmakers demanded the speaker’s chair to allow them to speak on the crushing issue.

PML-F Parliamentary Leader Nand Kumar said that sugar mills in the province had not yet signalled the start of the crushing season, which had caused huge losses to the growers. “This situation is being created as the provincial government is yet to announce sugar cane prices,” he said, adding that the growers were the ultimate losers in the situation.

Sarki asked the members to speak on the issue after the completion of agenda, but the opposition lawmakers refused to listen to him and threatened to boycott the proceedings.

However, Sarki said that the issue would only be discussed after the legislation process was completed that infuriated the members who raised slogans against the government for fixing the sugar cane prices on their own.

Later the Sindh Assembly deputy speaker took charge of the proceedings and assured the members that the issue would be taken up after the questions and answers session.

Speaking on the point of order after the questions and answers session, MQM lawmaker Her Soho once against raised the issue and asked the chair to allow other opposition members to speak on the issue.

However, the deputy speaker turned down her request and said that only one lawmaker could speak on a point of order, causing furore among opposition lawmakers.

Later giving policy statement on the issue, Minister for Agriculture Sohail Anwer Sial said that the government had resolved the issue last year, and the mills had started crushing on time. “This year, too, the issue would be resolved soon,” Sial said, and added, “Sugar mills will announce start of the crushing season soon.”

However, he stopped short of giving any deadline. However, the opposition lawmakers still did not feel satisfied with the reply and started protesting on the issue again, prompting the deputy speaker to remind that she had the powers to maintain decorum in the House and could either adjourn the session or summon sergeant at arms to deal with the situation.

 PTI motion on hike in prices

of commodities

 Meanwhile, the House also rejected an adjournment motion from PTI lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman regarding hike in the prices of various commodities.

The PTI leader said that people were perturbed over recent hike in prices and the consumer rights were not being safeguarded. “This is an important issue and should be discussed on the floor of the House,” he argued.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that the issue was a concern for all and sundry, but there were several reasons for it, including a major reason of increase in fuel prices by the federal government that had led to rise in the prices of various products.

“This issue had been discussed before the assembly and as per rules could not be discussed again on the floor of the House in the same session,” he said, adding that the provincial price and supply bureau had taken action against those involved in price hike and had jailed 105 people besides issuing 3,700 challans and receiving hundreds of thousands in terms of fine.

Resolutions

Meanwhile, the house on Tuesday passed a resolution from PML-F MPA Nusrat Seher Abbasi demanding the federal authorities to put an end to the rustication of students who were on hunger strike after a clash between two student groups in Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

Another resolution was tabled by MQM lawmaker Rana Ansar asking Sindh government to approach Federal authorities in order to stop issuing over billing/deduction bills of electricity in the province particularly in Hyderabad.

The mover said that the overbilling had caused problems for the people across Sindh and especially in Hyderabad and HESCO is bent on looting consumers through these acts.

She asked the Sindh government to raise the issue with federal government and resolve it on immediate basis in order to provide relief to the masses.  Minister for Local Bodies Jam Khan Shoro said that the federal government had claimed of ending load shedding within three months after coming into power but the crisis had increased rather than a relief claim.  “The deduction bills are an increased burden on the consumers along with excessive load shedding,” he said.

Other lawmakers said that the WAPDA was itself involved in electricity theft and sending hefty bills to recover those thefts from poor people.  The House was later adjourned to meet again on Wednesday.