SHC satisfied with billions spent on social welfare projects in Sindh

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

23rd Aug, 2021. 06:06 pm
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Sindh High Court on Monday expressed satisfaction over the welfare schemes being implemented in 27 districts of Sindh via the social development funds of oil and gas exploration and production companies.

The advocate general Sindh submitted the progress reports compiled by the deputy commissioners to a two-judge bench headed by Justice Muhammad Karim Khan Agha.

Provincial energy departments secretary, who was earlier made the focal person for the DCs, explained to the bench in detail about the schemes that had been completed or were going on with the allocated funds.

Supreme Court of Pakistan in Abdul Hakeem Khoso case in 2014 had issued directions to oil and gas exploration and production companies as well as federal and provincial departments to fulfil their obligations in respect of dispersing and monitoring of funds, collected from the companies, to district administration for better uplifting of communities through social welfare schemes.

Later, Roshan Ali Lakhan and other petitioners had approached SHC for implementation of the directions of the apex court.

The report informed the bench that till July 15, over Rs6.4 billion have been received under the head of Production Bonus from the companies. It added that out of those more than Rs4.1 billion have been spent on 661 schemes, and over Rs1.9 billion is available for the 153 on-going schemes.

Over Rs456 million were received under the head of Marine Research and Coastal Development Fee. The breakdown showed that 19 schemes were completed with Rs211.03 million and Rs217.93 million were available for 45 on-going schemes.

The report stated that under the Social Welfare Obligations more than Rs3.116 million rupees were received. Out of those over Rs1.4 billion have been spent on 379 schemes while over Rs1.2 billion have been spent on 450 on-going schemes.

After hearing the numbers, the court expressed its overall satisfaction over the completed schemes and pace of work on on-going schemes with a few exceptions.

The bench observed that the projects for the construction of road should not be carried out under social welfare schemes as that was the responsibility of the provincial government.

Justice Agha at the end of the hearing in passionate observation commended the focal person and the district administration for doing appreciable work for the poor and oppressed people who have no voice in the current dispensation.

The judge also observed that with water supply and drainage schemes and pr focusing on the provision of free internet facility, libraries and scholarships should also be included in the social uplift projects.

Further hearing in the matter will take place on January 17, 2022, when progress report on the status of pending schemes will be submitted.

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