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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in his meeting with a World Bank delegation led by its Country Director Najy Benhassine discussed the provision of targeted subsidies to the small growers for agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilizer so that they could plant their upcoming Rabi crop, particularly the wheat.

“Our government is keen to rehabilitate and strengthen growers, particularly the small ones so that their submerged agricultural lands could be made fit for plantation,” Murad said and added the growers have suffered a huge loss during the Kharif crops in which their standing crops were washed away due to unprecedented rains.

Shah said that $100 million may be allocated for the agricultural subsidy for the Rabi crops which was agreed upon in the meeting. However, Minister Agriculture Manzoor Wassan was directed to hold a departmental meeting with the agriculture sector experts of the World Bank for developing modalities.

Murad Ali Shah told the delegation that his government has formed a housing company that has been registered with SECP. He added that Sindh government has appointed Khalid Shaikh as the first CEO of the company as per the requirement of the World Bank.

The provincial government has provided Rs500 seed money for the company and its Board of Directors (BoDs) is being nominated.

It may be noted that the World Bank, in principle, has already agreed to provide Rs110 billion to start the reconstruction of the houses that collapsed during the heavy rains and floods.

Sindh chief minister said that the floods have damaged 1.8 million houses as per the initial survey and a proper compressive survey is under way.

The meeting discussed the rehabilitation of the irrigation system damaged by heavy rains/ floods for which $370million has been agreed.

Shah said that the various protection embankments and drainage systems have been damaged badly by the floods and we have to prepare for the next year’s monsoon season by strengthening these infrastructures on a priority basis.

The World Bank team told that PC-1 of the projects should be prepared and approved by the provincial and federal governments’ concerned forums so that they could be considered for approval in the World Bank board scheduled to be held in December.

However, Murad Ali Shah and the World Bank Country Chief Najy discussed a water supply project of $94 million. Under the project, the water supply schemes damaged during the floods would be rehabilitated or revamped.

The meeting agreed to finalise the modalities of the project so that it could be started.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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