Federal govt’s control on Sindh coal body opposed

Courtesy and Thanks: Daily Dawn, July 27, 2008

ISLAMABAD, July 26: The civil society organisations from Sindh on Saturday called upon the federal government to withdraw its decision of taking control of the Sindh Coal Authority, terming it a breach of provincial autonomy.

Sindh Advocacy Group and Sindh Human Rights Group organised a protest rally in front of the camp office of the Rawalpindi Press Club here to register the anger prevailing among the people of Sindh against the decision of the federal government which has set up a Thar Coal Authority through a notification. The authority will be governed through a board comprising representatives of the federal government.

The demonstrators were of the view that the federal government had deliberately infringed upon the autonomy of the provincial government by taking in its hand the control of a provincial department.

The SCA was established by the Sindh government under a provincial law but the federal government took control of its management by creating a new body through a notification only, they said, adding this would amount to taking the natural assets of the province through illegal means in violation of the Constitution which guarantees provincial autonomy.

“No government has the right to deprive the people of any province of their due share.” They said a Chinese company had in 2004 even invested $1.5 billion in Thar by installing machinery but the federal government forcibly shut down the project.

The immediate withdrawal of such a decision is necessary for the integration of the country, they said.


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