| Updated at: 2134 PST, Saturday, November 20, 2010|
KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to table the one-time-flood-tax bill in the coming session of Sindh Assembly, despite strong opposition by their ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The decision was taken in a high level meeting held at the President Camp House in Naudero, jointly chaired by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and MNA Faryal Talpur on 19th November, the third day of Eid-ul-Azha, sources privy to PPP told PPI here on Saturday.
In this connection, another meeting would likely be held at Chief Minister’s House in Karachi within a couple of days to approve the final draft of flood tax. Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Law Minister Mohammad Ayaz Soomro and Advisor to Chief Minister for Planning and Development Dr Qaisar Bengali would participate in the meeting, source added.
When contacted, Minister for Law Mohammad Ayaz Soomro said that the PPP would table the one-time-flood-tax bill in the next session of the Sindh Assembly, whether MQM supports it or not. He said that after the finalization of the draft of tax bill, we will approach MQM once again and try to persuade it.
He added that he along with Syed Murad Ali Shah and Dr Qaisar Bengali had drafted the flood tax bill, which would be presented to the Chief Minister Sindh soon to seek his approval before presenting in the Assembly.
He said that recent floods have devastated the major parts of Sindh province so that its duty of every well-to-do person to participate in the rehabilitation process. He said they had tried to take Muttahida Qaumi Movement on board regarding the flood tax issue but still they are reluctant to buy it.
Law Minister said that we are going to impose flood tax on the right side of Indus River from Kashmore to Karachi, while the people living in the left side area of Indus River will be exempt from it, as the floods have badly ravaged their area.
He said that Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) are supporting flood tax so MQM should also support it.
Talking to PPI Opposition Leader in the Sindh assembly and MPA of Muslim league functional Jam Madad Ali said that they were supporting the flood tax, adding that floods have devastated the province and we all should support any legal and affordable move regarding the help of flood victims.
He said that we are doing politics in Sindh on the directives of our leader Pir Pagara and he has directed that don’t create any hurdle for the PPP-led government.
He said that finance Minster Syed Murad Ali Shah had visited the Kingri House Karachi before the Eid-ul-Azha and briefed us about the pros and cons of this tax.
President Awami National Party (ANP) Sindh Shahi Syed told PPI that though PPP had not taken their party on board regarding the one-time-flood-tax bill but they would support it in the large interest of the province.