Sindh government has finalized an ordinance to provide major relief to its citizens amid coronavirus lockdown. As per details, the provincial law ministry has drafted the ordinance which includes major relief for masses in utility bills, house/shop rents, school fees, etc. m
The proposal has been forwarded to Governor Sindh, Imran Ismael, for approval. It will be implemented from the first of April following the approval. Chief Minister, Murad Ali Shah, will have the power to amend or revoke the ordinance at any time.
Some salient features of the ordinance are as follows:
Relief for Power Consumers
The major relief for the citizens has come in terms of utility bills. The ordinance has proposed suspension of monthly electricity bills during the lockdown for users consuming up to 260 units a month.
Those consuming up to 350 units will pay 25 percent of the total amount. Similarly, consumers with up to 450 unit consumption will enjoy a 50 percent discount. Power consumers with monthly usage of more than 450 units will have to pay the full amount.
The relief will be true for all domestic, commercial and industrial power users.
Relief for Gas Consumers
Similar relief has been proposed for gas consumers. The ordinance asks for 100 percent suspension of monthly bills for consumers using up to 155 units (m³) a month.
Consumers with a consumption of up to 200 units (m³) will avail a 75 percent reduction in the monthly bills.
Likewise, 50 percent amount of the bill will be suspended for consumers using up to 300 units (m³).
Gas bills with above 300 units will be paid in full. The offer goes for all three types of consumers.
School Fee Reduction
Just like Punjab, Sindh government has also made it mandatory for private school owners to reduce 20 percent of the monthly tuition fee during the coronavirus break. Schools have been bound not to receive more than 80 percent of the fee in any form, neither can they charge fees in a lump sum nor in installments.
Relief on Monthly Rent
The most interesting part of this ordinance is the proposed waiver of monthly rents. The ordinance has called for a complete suspension of the monthly rent of up to Rs. 50,000. People paying more than Rs. 50,000 in rent and less than Rs. 100,000 will be liable to pay half the amount. However, 100 percent of rent will be payable where the rent exceeds Rs. 100,000.
Punishment Over Violations
The government has also proposed hefty fines over violation of the ordinance. According to the draft proposal, the violators will be given be on the spot punishment carrying fines of up to Rs. 1 million.