Murad not ready to ‘unlock’ Sindh, demands NFC Award restructuring

Demands restructuring of NFC Award

By: News Desk      Published: 04:39 PM, 8 May, 2020
Murad not ready to ‘unlock’ Sindh, demands NFC Award restructuring

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday said the provincial goNFvernment had and will fully implement the decisions taken at the federal level in connection with containing the coronavirus pandemic but it is not yet ready to lift the lockdown.

The chief minister stressed that the federal government must assist the small traders through loans and other measures as they were facing great hardships in the current scenario.

The National Finance Commission (NFC) Award required changes as it was determined before the 18th Amendment, said the chief minster while expressing his views on financial issues.

They will get money from the Centre, it is ventilators which should be provided now, he added.

Murad remarked that he won’t talk about money at the current stage as it would be said that he was demanding money.

Addressing a press briefing in Karachi, he rejected the impression of conflict with the federal government and said all the decisions taken at the National Coordination Committee (NCC) were taken with consensus.

He also said that all the provinces admitted in the NCC meeting that the lockdown benefitted them.

Citing the details of all the decisions made during the Thursday’s NCC meeting, Murad said none of those was forced upon by Sindh and had been made by the federal government.

However, the chief minister said he had again expressed his reservations over the Centre’s decision of not sharing the data of daily wage earners due to which the provincial government could help them financially.

About the NCC meeting, Murad said the examples of Iran, Germany and Italy were shared to justify relaxing the lockdown. Those countries were opening the business activities in phases only after a downward curve in the new coronavirus cases and the resultant deaths, he added.

Previously, he was mocked for referring to other countries but no one could blame him for that now, he remarked and mentioned the rise in the number of new cases and deaths in Pakistan.

The Sindh government will fully follow the decisions notwithstanding the fact that he is afraid of these, Murad noted.

The chief minister revealed that he had told the NCC meeting that the decisions should be taken on the basis of data and ground realities, not emotions and passion.

Without naming the PTI leaders, he asked those citing the deaths caused by road accidents to justify lifting the lockdown to avoid the practice.

Murad also rejected the statements that Sindh had imposed lockdown in panic and reminded the people that it was Federal Minister Asad Umar who had announced the decision about the lockdown.

About the coronavirus testing, he said 5,532 tests were conducted during the past 24 hours which was represented the highest number among the provinces.

He said so the federal government had brought back 2,369 Pakistanis from abroad to Sindh. As many as 516 of them were tested coronavirus positive after which they were shifted to the quarantine centres, he added.