Motherland Sindh

sindhmap                             

Sindh (pronounced [sɪnd̪ʱ]SindhiسنڌUrduسندھ) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, large numbers of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can also be found. Sindh is bounded to the west by the Indus River and Balochistan, to the north by Punjab, and to the south by theArabian Sea. The main language spoken is Sindhi by about 40 million people. The name is derived from the Indus River that separates it from Balochistan and the greater Iranian Plateau. This river was known to the to the ancient Iranians in Avestan as Harauhuti, in Sanskrit as Sarasvati, to Assyrians (as early as the seventh century BC) as Sinda, to the Greeks as Indos, to the Romans as Indus, to the Persians as Ab-e-sind, to thePashtuns as "Abasind", to the Arabs as Al-Sind, to the Chinese as Sintow, and to the Javanese as the Santri. Read more on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sindh

Wealthy Sindh’s Poor People

Sindh at a Glance:
Area: 140914 km2
Population: 30439893 (as per 1998 census) and 42378000 (approximately as in 2008)
Districts: 23
Talukas (Administrative units within a District): 87
Metropolitan/ Municipal Corporations: 9
Municipal Committees: 31
Town Committees: 116
Army Cantonments: 8
Villages/ Dehs: 5871
Average population per km2: 216
Ratio of urban population (living in Metropolitan/Municipal Corporations, Municipal Committees and Town Committees) 48.8%
Ratio of rural population: 51.2%

Source: Pakistan Government’s Population Census Organization and  Federal Bureau of Statistics

Natural Resources:
Coal:
Sindh has 99% coal reservoirs of Pakistan. These are located in Lakhra, Soondha, Thar, Meeting-Jhampeer and Badin. Among these, Thar coal reservoirs are the largest in the world.

      
Total: 96.297 billion tonnes

Source: Sindh Coal Authority

Natural Gas:
There are 10 gas fields in Sindh from where natural gas is extracted. These are:  Kandhkoat, Khairpur, Mari ( The largest gas field where 20% gas is stored and 18% gas is produced/ used), Suri/Hundi, Golarchi, Khaskheli and Leghari.  Sindh produces 48% of natural gas of Pakistan.

The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) daily extracts 986 MMCF of natural gas, 368 tonnes of LPG and 71 tonnes of sulphur. The gas is sold at the rate of 137.96 rupees per MCF.

Crude Oil/Petrol:
Sindh produces 62% of oil of Pakistan. OGDCL sales 43642 barrel of oil per day at the rate of 64.79 dollars per barrel.

 

 Agriculture:
Agriculture is the backbone of Sindh’s economy. The main crops of Sindh in summer season include cotton, rice, sugarcane, sorghum, millet, sweet corn, and different pulses, while the wheat is the main crop of the winter season. Sindh produces all sorts of vegetables and fruits such as banana, mango, lemon, orange, grape fruit, strawberry, cherry, peach, cheekooand guava.

Cattles, Poultry and Fish

 
Source: Pakistan Census of Live Stock 1996

Fish
1139919 metric tonnes of fish are captured from different water habitats.  64400 tonnes of fish is captured from sea. Pakistan’s fish exports is worth 133 million dollars. The entire fish comes from Sindh and Baluchistan.

Source: Fish Folk Forum and International Trade Statistics ( ITS)

The proportion of different taxes collected by Sindh for the Federal Government:

 

Source: Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh

National Finance Commission (NFC) Award
The British Rule introduced the concept of participatory development and they developed the communication, irrigation, education, law and judiciary systems and provided constitution to united India in 1937.

During British Rule, the Sales Tax (GST) was a provincial tax but at the inception of Pakistan, making the emergency conditions as a pretext the Federal government snatched Karachi from Sindh and later on taken 50% of Sales Tax from Government of Sindh in order to control the financial deficit of Pakistan.

The federal government instead of respecting the 1940 Resolution (inter provincial social pact) and giving the provincial autonomy to all its provinces imposed ONE UNIT over 4 provinces just for sake of demonstrating equality to the then  largest province, East Pakistan (now  Bangladesh)

Sindh was made a colony for the immigrants from India in an organized and planned way.  Hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land were allotted to non-Sindhis (Civil and army bureaucracy) in Sukhar, Gudu and Kotri barrage areas.

After 25 years of Pakistan creation no justice and fair system/ dealings were delivered by the Federal Government towards Sindh.

In 1974, the government of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, instead of returning 50% GST (taken in the 1940s) to the Sindh snatched the remaining 50% and announced it as 100% Federal Tax. GST is never considered as Federal Tax in any part of the world, it always remains as provincial or regional tax.

In 1974, first NFC award was announced after which the military came in to the power. General Zia ul Haque announced two NFC awards in 1979 and in 1985. 1979 commission was never called while 1985 commission did not reach to an agreement. Mr. Jawed Sultan Jappan wala, the then finance minister refused to sign a totally unjustified award.

In 1997, Sindh again went under a ruthless betrayal by an undertaker government which had no lawful, justified and moral right of doing so.

Background:
Up to this point in time, in all seven NFC awards, the distribution of resources has been done on the only indicator, that is population. Nowhere in the world, under a federal government system, the resources are distributed on the basis of only one indicator i.e. population. For example in India NFC award is distributed on 11 parameters. Having majority in population does not mean that the province contribute and consumes more resources. Therefore, this exercise does not fulfil the criteria of justice and equality. Hence, the distribution of NFC on multiple parameters is very essential.

In 1991 NFC Award, three taxes were under the federal government distribution pool:
Income Tax (Including Corporate Tax)
General sales Tax (GST)
Central Excise Duty (CED)

Custom tax was under jurisdiction of Federal Government and was not part of the distribution pool in the NFC award. However, above mentioned three taxes were in that pool. The following formula was in use for distribution among federal/ central and provinces:

Federal / Central Government: 20%
Provincial Government: 80%

In 1997 NFC award, the federal Government included the custom duty in to the distribution pool and beside this changed the formula of distribution among centre and provinces:
Central Government: 62.5
Provincial Government: 37.5

As a result of this formula the 2/3 of resources became the property to the central government while the remaining 1/3 came to the share of all provinces.

Apart from NFC, the income generated to the federal government from other resources excluding taxes, the provinces do not get the equal proportion. With reference of foreign loans, grants and development projects, principles of justification and equal distributions are also not followed.

 

The share given by provinces in the distribution pool:

Year 1999-2000

 

On the basis of population census of 1981 and 1998, the share given to provinces from the Federal distribution pool:

NO

Province

As per population census of 1981

As per population census of 1998

1

Punjab

57.88 Billion Rupees

58.38 Billion Rupees

2

Sindh

23.28 Billion Rupees

23.72 Billion Rupees

3

NWFP

13.54Billion Rupees

13.82 Billion Rupees

4

Baluchistan

5.30 Billion Rupees

5.07 Billion Rupees

Source: Combined Finance and Revenue Accounts and Finance Division, Government. of Pakistan

Due to having no provincial autonomy, control and ownership of resources, distribution of NFC award on the population basis let us see where Sindh stands in terms of the social indicators:

Education:

8000 schools of Sindh are closed
3 out of 5 children aged between 5-9 do not go to school
Every 6 minutes 4 children quit the school for good
Overall literacy rate of Sindh is 51%
65% of urban population of Sindh is literate
35% of rural population of Sindh is literate

Asian Development Bank and Education Department, Government of Sindh

Health

 

Source: Asian Development Bank, UNICEF, Ministry of Health, Government of Sindh, and other resources

Employment / Unemployment:

A minimum of 6% (approximately 2.05 million) of population of province is unemployed of which 25% are educated, graduate, postgraduate, engineers, doctors, accounting and management professionals.

 

Out of 3000 existing factories of province, only 50 factories belong to Sindhis and the 95% of employed labour is non-Sindhi.

Source: Journal of Third World Studies

The number of Sindhis in Federal Departments and the Armed Forces

 

Source: Journal of Third World Studies

Water shortage
Due to shortage of river water, the agriculture economy has lost 42 Billion rupees in four years time.

Source: Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC)

Lack of Investment
6 billion dollars (450 billion Rs) were invested in Pakistan in the last 5 years but industrial areas of Sindh have not benefited from this investment.

Source: SPDC and Chairman SITE, Karachi

 

Landless people

Source: Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC)

Crimes (Year 2007)
Killings/Murder: 2167
Gang rape: 27
Attempt to  murder: 3080
Kidnapping: 1654
Honour killings: 96
Kidnapping for money: 145
Severely injured (quarrel): 889
Children kidnapped: 136
Minor injuries (quarrel): 1823
Suicides: 195
In fights: 3077
Attempt to suicide: 4163
Attacks on police: 1258
Dacoits: 1495
Sexual abuse: 168
Robberies: 4505
Houses burglaries: 2127
Other crimes: 8904

Source: Sindh Police, Bureau of Police Research and Development, interior division, Islamabad

Absolute Poverty

50% of Sindh’s population (42.3 millions) is under poverty line and live a very miserable life.   Sindh is target of injustice since the inception of Pakistan; whereas, in real sense Sindh is the creator of Pakistan. The rulers of Pakistan have enormously devastated Sindh by usurping its all resources. Here they use Islam, socialism, democracy and martial law as weapon to exploit Sindh. Military regimes have never ever given any relief to the people of Sindh which continue to occur even during so-called democratic governments.

Note: These facts and figures have been collated by Sindh United Party and distributed on 07/06/2008 in order to make public aware of the current situation of Sindh

Ali Nawaz Butt
(English Translation by Gul Sanai)