KARACHI    -   Sindh Minister for Women Development Syeda Shehla Raza on Friday informed the provincial assembly that the government was providing full support to women entrepreneurs so that they could improve their standard.

Furnishing replies to the lawmaker’s written and verbal queries the minster said, “Women Development Department in collaboration with different NGOs has been providing facilities to the women for improvement of handicraft and skill development in the province. Programs organised on National Women Day at a private hotel and Arts Council in March 2018 where free of cost stalls were provided to women artisans to display their work.”

Shehla said that at Benazirabad the department was running different training programs like, sewing and cutting, embroidery, IT courses to girls in order to empower them. In 2018, 70 girls got certificates in different programmes at Benazirabad on completion of trainings.

To a query of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Sidra Imran, the minister said that there was no sales and display centre functional in the province till November 2018 under the umbrella of Women Development; however, she added that one display centre was established in Karachi. Establishment of Sales and Display Resource Centre Karachi could not be functionalised due to unavailability of funds.

Shehla apprised the assembly that the department had signed a MoU with SARSO and Home Net for facilitation of women entrepreneurs in Sindh. “The SARSO has permanent display centre at Sukkur and 3600 women have been empowered by providing stalls which are free of cost where they display their products and earn profit independently,” said the Minister.

The PTI lawmaker asked as if programs were held from June 2016 to November 2018 by the department for capacity building of skilled women to promote entrepreneurship that may help in improving economic conditions of people of Sindh on which the Minister gave details. “As many as 200 women successfully trained in four skills and empowered through skills enhancement trainings like embroidery, cutting, computer courses, English language whereas70 girls were trained in basic trainings of sewing and cutting courses,” Shehla replied.

The Minister said that Women Development Department was in process of initiating project ‘Improvement of Livelihood of Home Based worker’ in coordination with JICA ( Japan International Cooperation Agency ) which will benefit approximately 1000-1500 women and will help them to achieve their livelihood goals.

Illegal constructions

Separately, Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani admitted that illegal construction of commercial plazas on residential plots was on the rise across the city despite strict action by the department.  He was responding to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Parliamentary Leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel’s calling attention notice. “Will the Honourable Minister for Local Government, Sindh may please to give answer/statement that illegal construction of Commercial Plazas on Residential Plots of KDA, particular in Liaquatabad, Karachi; what steps have been taken by the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) against such illegal constructions. Furnish details in this regard, please?,” Kanwar asked.

Ghani was of the view that the issue was not only pertains to Liaquatbad but the entire city face such problem. “We have taken strict action against the delinquent officers whose negligence laid to illegal construction. We have also formed a committee led by Special Secretary to look into this matter,” he added.