KARACHI -  Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and other members of the assembly on Friday welcomed Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter to the assembly after his release from the Karachi Central Jail two days ago.

Speaking on this occasion, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani welcomed the Karachi mayor and said that he had become more attractive after his days in the jail.

Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hassan said it was the desire of Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter to visit the assembly where he was once a member and also performed his duties as a minister for local bodies and home affairs. He appealed to the provincial government to strengthen the hands of the mayor. If the city makes progress, he said, the credit for it would go to captain of the provincial government Syed Murad Ali Shah.

“We are neither in the provincial government nor in the local government but we want to play the role of a bridge between the two in order to empower the local bodies in the province,” he said.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that local government elections were held after a long time in PPP’s tenure and they had not created any hindrance in implementation of this system. “It is not about powerless government instead we will give all powers to the local government as provisioned in the law passed by the provincial assembly,” he said.

PTI lawmaker Samar Ali Khan expressed the hope that basic issues of the people would be addressed through this local government system and action would be taken against those who destroyed the beauty of the city through land grabbing and China cutting. He emphasized on empowering the local government system in the metropolis.

Friday’s Sindh Assembly session started an hour and ten minutes later than its scheduled time with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair.

The speaker went through the items on the agenda quickly and winded up the session at 12:45pm, sending a bill pertaining to a ban on sheesha cafes in the province to the standing committee and approving a resolution regarding appointment of candidates who had passed the combined competitive exams in 2013 under the Sindh Public Service Commission.

The resolution, which was tabled by PPP lawmaker Syed Awais Qadir Shah in the provincial assembly, stated that the Sindh Public Service Commission took combined competitive exams in 2013. Several candidates passed written and oral exams but they were not appointed at that time due to a lack of seats. It said that since new seats had been created in the provincial system, these candidates should be appointed to the vacant seats.

The parliamentary affairs minister gave his nod to the resolution and said that it was the issue of the future of the new generation. The House later adopted the resolution unanimously.

Moreover, reports pertaining to the 1st biannual monitoring of implementation of the NFC Award for the period of July-December 2015; Audit Report of District Governments/Local Councils of Sindh for the Audit Year 2014-15; Audit Report on the Accounts of Government of Sindh for the Audit Year 2015-16 and Performance Audit Report on Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme (period 2008-09 to 2013-14); Appropriation Accounts (Vol-1 to Vol-5) and Financial Statement of Government of Sindh for the Year 2013-14 and report of the expenditure of the provincial government during the first three months of financial year 2016-17 were also tabled in the House.

Meanwhile, Minister for Education Jam Mehtab Dahar said the provincial government would bring the private schools under some rules and regulations in order to address grievances of the parents regarding higher fee charges. He was responding to the adjournment motion of PTI lawmaker regarding private schools charging exorbitant fees from students.

Although the adjournment motion was opposed from the treasury benches but the minister said he had invited the delegation of the private school to discuss the issue and it would soon be resolved. He said the meeting would discuss issues pertaining to teaching of Sindhi language and Holy Quran in schools and higher fees.

The Sindh Assembly speaker also asked the minister to take the issue seriously and address it.

Responding to a calling attention notice about 14,000 new CNG buses to be run in the province by Rana Ansar of the MQM, Minister for Transport Nasir Hussain Shah said that they were in talks with Chinese company Norinco on this project. “Proposals for the project will be finalised in two to three weeks,” he said, adding that projects of light train and tram service were also under consideration.

The House was later adjourned to meet on Monday.