President asks PPP ministers to gear up contact with masses ahead of LB poll

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday asked the Sindh ministers belonging to PPP to step up their contacts with the masses and address their problems by holding open katcheries  to brace for the local bodies elections, which would be held in not too distant future in consultation with coalition partners and stakeholders.This, he said, while addressing a meeting of the Sindh Ministers belonging to the PPP at  Bilawal House here.Spokesperson to the President, Farhatullah Babar said the meeting was also attended by Sindh Chief Minister  Syed Qaim Ali Shah, provincial ministers and senior federal and provincial government officials.The meeting took stock of the law and order situation, the recent spate of alleged targeted killings, the flood relief measures and issues relating to coalition in the province.Provincial ministers Zulfiqar Mirza, Manzoor Hussain  Wassan, Siraj Durrani, Syed Murad Ali Shah and Ali Nawaz Shah also made brief presentations about their respective ministries.The President also advised the provincial government to speed up legislation for the reinstatement of provincial employees who were sacked after the removal of PPP government in 1996 for political reasons, as has been done by the federal government in respect of federal employees.On a presentation made by Law Minister Ayaz Soomro the President advised concerned government departments to prepare a plan for the upgradation of water supply and sewerage system in selected districts of the province.

The meeting was also briefed about the latest status of flood rehabilitation and reconstruction measures and the issues involved in it. The President asked the provincial government to make adequate provisions for meeting the adverse impact of coming winter on the flood victims and rehabilitation efforts.The President also advised the provincial government to set up a separate ministry for overseeing the flood rehabilitation and reconstruction effort.About revamping the education sector the President advised that evening shifts be started in major cities of the province to relieve pressure on  demand  for education  of a fast growing population.Introducing double shift scheme in existing buildings will save expenses on the building of new infrastructure and will only require recruitment and training of teachers, he said – App