ABAD meets Governor Sindh to Climate Change in CPEC; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

30 October 2022

ABAD Delegation meets Governor Sindh

A delegation of the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) together with Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) Director General (DG) Muhammad Ishaq Khoro called on Governor Sindh KamranTessori. They discussed primarily the issue of ongoing illegal construction in Sindh. The governor said the illegal constructions in the province should be halted, as traffic flow gets disturbed due to this menace.

The ABAD delegation informed the governor about the difficulties being faced by the builders and various problems faced by the construction industry at present. The SBCA DG told the meeting that action was being taken against illegal constructions in the city and informed Governor about the performance of his institution. The builders’ community, however, mentioned that the introduction of the one-window operation would prove beneficial for the real estate developers in this regard.

Climate Change in CPEC

In the new phase of cooperation both Pakistan and China have decided to reinvigorate the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by including water resources management, climate change and business-to-business investments in energy and industrial sectors. In the 11th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC this week both countries agreed to start a $10 billion Mainline-1 (ML-1) railway project from Karachi to Peshawar and the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

Senate passes CPEC Authority Bill

Speaking at a news conference after the 11th meeting of the JCC on CPEC, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said it was agreed to include a new area of “Water Resource Management and Climate Change” will have great importance, especially after the recent flood which has badly affected Pakistan. The meeting, he said, agreed to push forward the initiative of the new government to include 10,000 MW of solar energy in the system. Major announcements on bilateral cooperation in this regards will be made during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing on Nov 1 this year.

ADB Loan to rebuild Houses

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has revealed nearly around 1.8 million houses were destroyed in Sindh due to monsoon flood in 2022, besides adding that Rs1.5 trillion are required for their reconstruction. In a meeting with Asian Development Bank (ADB) Director General (Central & West Asia) Eugenue Zhukov, he said that the World Bank has pledged Rs110 billion loan against a requirement of Rs1.5tr for reconstruction of flood-affected houses and asked the Asian bank to meet the shortfall of the funds which is Rs1.39 trillion. “We shall be thankful if the ADB meets the shortfall of Rs1,390 billion so that all the homeless people could be provided with shelter or house”, he says.

The visiting ADB official told the chief minister that they have committed $475m with the federal government, of which $300m would be the share of the provincial government for the construction of damaged infrastructure. He also said that the ADB would give a project to mitigate the effects of climate change. The project was under consideration between the ADB and the Sindh Planning & Development department.

Sindh Property Tax transferred to Local Councils

The urban immovable property tax management department has been formally transferred from the excise and taxation department under the government of Sindh to the local government department with the approval of the provincial cabinet. The development enables local councils to collect urban property tax and increase the resources available to local governments, allowing them to be more effective in assisting citizens. According to the LG secretary Najam Shah there are currently approximately 840,000 numbers of taxable units in Karachi was.

Time to Devolve Karachi Property Tax Collection

Speaking at a programme held in the urban tax department in this regard, Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said the transfer of urban property tax collection to the local councils will significantly increase their resources. Tax changes are one of the strategies that increase the financial independence of local governments.  The property tax wing of the excise department now will be linked for a period of three years with local councils so that tax collection could be done in an effective manner.

Title Images Courtesy / Deccan Herald and APP

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