KARACHI-The Sindh government has decided to launch Pakistan Textile City at Port Qasim from its resources in case the federal government decides to wind up the project.

This decision was taken by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while presiding over a meeting here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Minister Industries Manzoor Wassan, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, Secretary Industries Rahim Soomro, Principal Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and others.

Briefing the chief minister Minister Industries Manzoor Wassan said that Pakistan Textile City Ltd (PTCL) is a public-private joint venture company. It was initiated in 2004 but the actual development work was started in 2007 with initial equity of Rs1.1 billion.

Wassan said that the Sindh government contributed Rs127 to KWSB for dedicated water pipelines as its commitment to share 50 percent of cost with federal government which contributed only Rs199 million.

Wassan said that the objective of the project was to boost export potential of value added textile products and it would create around 80,000 direct jobs and another 80,000 indirect jobs.

Talking about the shares in the company the Industries minister said that Sindh government owns 16 percent shares. He added that PQA issued allotment letter on August 27, 2006 on 50 years lease at the cost of Rs1 million percent.

Secretary Industries Rahim Soomro said the company availed a loan of Rs2.4 billion which was subsequently. The federal government has decided to wind up the project for which a number of meetings have been held in Islamabad.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to talk to federal government. The Sindh government was ready to launch the project from its own resources. This is most important project which has vast potential to for employment and value addition.

The chief minister directed minister Industries to coordinate with the PTCL members and make necessary working to start the project.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he was well aware that there some issues have developed in the public sector universities for certain reasons. “I am trying to resolve them and onward the process of appointing a new vice chancellor would be started at least six months before the retirement of the outgoing vice chancellor.”

This he said while talking to a delegation of federal Higher Education Commission led by its chairman Professor Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed. The other delegation members include Dr Raza Bhatti and Syed Naveed Hussain Shah. Secretary Education Fazal Pechuho, Secretary U&B Naveed Shaikh and principal secretary to CM Naveed Kamran Baloch.

The HEC chairman said that there were some duplications of the functions of provincial HEC and federal HEC. On this the chief minister said that he would convene a meeting of provincial HEC to discuss the law.

The chairman said that the federal HEC was giving grants to the universities working in public sector in Sindh. He added that they were opening some campuses of different universities in TM Khan, Ghotki, Qambar Shahdadkot, Kashmore and Shikarpur.

The chief minister said that he was going to improve university education by taking drastic steps. “I have declared emergency in education sector so that education right from primary to university level could be improved,” he said.

He said that in the universities not only their faculties needed to be improved but their administration and financial issues are to be rationalised,” he said. “I would not allow any kind of politics in the educational institutions,” he said.

The chief minister said that the federal HEC has Rs91 billion for universities but the provincial universities have some complaints that they were not being given funds according to their strength and ratio. The chairman assured the chief minister that the provincial universities were being looked after properly but even then he would address their grievances.

It was pointed out in the meeting that 41000 PhDs are required all over Pakistan but hardly 11000 PhDs are teaching in different universities. The chief minister said that he had given special incentives for scholarships for PhD and also gives special allowance for those who posses PHD degree.

The chairman HEC said that he would give detailed briefing to the chief minister on the working of HEC shortly.