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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed that Rs50,000 per family instead of Rs30,000 should be provided in flood-affected areas within three days through Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) under the auspices of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

While presiding over a meeting of the Relief Coordination Committee (RCC) established for the flood-affected areas by the prime minister, it was decided that instead of Rs30,000, Rs50,000 should be provided immediately to all the affected families in the flood-hit areas and the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) under the auspices of the NDMA should provide cash amount to families.

The meeting of the RCC was informed that the federal government is in touch with international donors and other welfare organisations and in this regard, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank have assured the government to provide necessary funds for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-damaged infrastructure under the Emergency Disaster Relief Fund.

On cash assistance to the flood-affected families, the premier wanted that the procedure should be kept transparent and cash assistance should be provided through electronic transfer and it should be ensured that the beneficiary gets his right.

The premier further has asked the committee to decide about the plan for the distribution of Rs50,000 cash assistance to the families in flood-affected areas and submit a report by this evening besides that estimation of flood damage through a joint survey with the provinces should be completed in three weeks instead of five weeks.

The provincial governments were asked to cooperate with the NDMA and finalise dates with the completion of the survey to provide timely relief to the flood victims, the prime minister stated and added, however, it would be at the discretion of the provincial government whether to become part of the federal government’s relief efforts for the flood victims or not.

PM wants speedy completion of public welfare projects

The federal government, however, he stated would ensure relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims from its own resources.

The meeting also decided that the federal minister of information would prepare a comprehensive plan for an awareness campaign in this regard.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Miftah Ismail, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Maulana Asad Mehmood, Advisor to Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz, and relevant senior officials. Federal Minister of Housing Maulana Abdul Wasi, Chief Minister of Balochistan Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo, Member of Balochistan Assembly Sanaullah Baloch participated through video link.

The meeting was told that the survey to estimate the damages caused by the floods consequent to the recent rains in collaboration with the provinces would be started after the rains. The meeting was father informed that until the completion of the survey, the government will provide immediate emergency cash relief to the affected families under the BISP.

Teams of doctors and paramedics have been sent to the flood-affected areas and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is estimating the damage in the flood-affected educational institutions.

The chief minister of Balochistan and the provincial chief secretary informed the meeting in detail about the loss of life and property as a result of the recent rains in Balochistan and the rescue and relief measures of the provincial government for the victims.

Sources said that Relief Coordination Committee comprises Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhry, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Asad Mahmood, Maulana Abdul Wasay, Secretary Communications, Secretary EAD, Secretary Planning and Development and Special Initiatives (PD&SI), and Chairman NDMA was also constituted to sort out the coordination between federal and provincial governments.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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