On Dec 10, 2019, the Sindh Assembly was informed that about 164,000 birds were vaccinated against Newcastle and avian influenza diseases through mass vaccination and medication in rural poultry in Umerkot by June.
Furnishing replies to the lawmakers’ queries during Question Hour, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Abdul Bari Pitafi said that a scheme of prevention and control of the Newcastle and avian Influenza diseases was approved on Aug 4, 2017 with a total cost of Rs 33 million for a period of two years.
He said that the activities of the scheme were spread throughout district Umerkot with main objectives to conduct preventive vaccination against bird diseases.
The minister said that the surveillance and sample collection and medication to the poultry population of targeted area was also conducted during the scheme.
In reply to a verbal question by Grand Democratic Alliance’s member Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, who had submitted a written question on birds’ vaccination, Mr Pitafi said that the scheme was delayed for one year due to paucity of funds.
He said that since the Centre cut Rs 80 billion from the province’s share in the first quarter, this scheme like other projects could not be completed in the stipulated time.
Ms Abbasi, who had initially lauded the minister for his work for livestock, said that the minister should not hold responsible the federal government for his failure to execute the scheme on time, adding that the scheme could have been completed if the livestock department had worked efficiently.
950 veterinary centres in Sindh
To a supplementary question by her, the minister said that there were 950 veterinary centres across the province for the betterment of livestock.
To another question by Ms Abbasi, he said that a project of “Construction of Veterinary Centre at Shah Bandar, Sujawal” with the cost of Rs6m was to be completed by June 2018, but it could not be completed due to lesser releases of funds during 2017-2018. He said that the scheme was approved on Aug 4, 2017 and completed on June 3 with an amount of Rs5.858m.
In reply to a question by the GDA member, the minister said that the project of construction of veterinary centre at Sajar Chang in district Tando Allahyar with a cost of Rs6m was to be completed by June 2018 but it was not completed on time due to less release of funds. “The scheme was completed on June 30, 2019.”
To another question asked by Kalsoom Chandio, he said that tax collection from the livestock markets in the province was not under the mandate of livestock department as the markets were being regulated by the municipal corporations, which came under the control of local government department.