Sindh governor rejects provincial govt’s coronavirus emergency relief ordinance

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Thursday rejected the “Sindh Covid-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance” approved by the provincial cabinet last week.

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“The provincial government has no authority to provide concession in electricity and gas. It is purely a federal subject,” Governor Ismail said.

As the Sindh Assembly is not in session, the provincial government had drafted the ordinance through the law department and proposed to mitigate the challenges emanating from the province-wide lockdown and embed all necessary measures to help those affected the Covid-19.

The salient features of the ordinance said it would provide prevention of eviction in the residential and commercial sectors, for the time being, giving equal relief to domestic residential and commercial tenants, employees and daily-wages workers.

Extending deadlines in submitting school fees, rent and utility charges, the conduct of trial or indictment and extension of the period for performance of duties by the court or an office is also a part of the ordinance.

Relief

No educational institution shall charge more than 80 per cent of the total monthly fees, the ordinance had proposed further.

No employee or worker shall be laid off, terminated or removed and shall be paid salary by the employers. The salary amount and the deduction, if necessary, is given in schedule-I of the ordinance.

The ordinance added that all utility providers falling within the territorial jurisdiction of the government shall give concession (schedule-II of the ordinance) in the utility services to all domestic, residential and commercial consumers.

It also proposed that landlords shall defer or suspend the recovery of the rent of the premises for payable amount as indicated in schedule-III; provided that the same shall not apply in a case where the owner is the widow, differently-abled person and senior citizen.

The government may provide an exemption in the provincial taxes, duties, fees, cess, levies and charges.

In case of non-compliance of the ordinance, different penalties had been defined.

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