ISLAMABAD: June 13, 2023: Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri has said that necessary steps are being taken both in Sindh and Balochistan to cope with any eventuality arising from Cyclone Biparjoy.

Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, she said the process of evacuation of the people from different areas of the coastal belt is continuing and so far about 80,000 to 100,000 people have been evacuated. She said billboards are also being removed in Karachi.

She said that Sujawal District is under threat from Cyclone while the areas of Thatta and Badin are expected to face the brunt of the cyclone’s landfall.

She requested the speaker National Assembly to give a ruling for creating awareness among the people to vacate their homes to save their lives.

Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in his remarks said the personnel of the armed forces are present in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone. He said that the people should take the directions of the Sindh government seriously and vacate their homes for their safety.

He said the people should observe precaution and give serious consideration to the directions and alerts being issued by the authorities concerned regarding the cyclone.

On the occasion, the House also prayed to avert the looming cyclone and save the country from natural disasters.

Later, the Lower House of the Parliament continued discussion on the budget for the year 2023-24.

Participating in the debate, Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Shah said the budget has been presented in a difficult economic situation. He was appreciative of increasing the salary of the employees but stressed taking more steps for the uplift of the agriculture sector.

He said the country is blessed with many resources, but regretted that these have never been exploited to strengthen the economy.

He said ample funds should be allocated for the construction of dams such as Diamer-Bhasha, Mohmand, and Dassu, and added that their completion will change the whole economic landscape of Pakistan. Noor Alam Khan, in his remarks, said there is no relief for the poor people and farmers in the budget. He said 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, but nothing is done to improve their standard of living.

Maulana Akbar Chitrali said the budget does not envisage a mechanism to bring down the prices of essential commodities. He proposed that orderly allowance should also be given to the officers of scale 17, 18, and 19.

Maulana Muhammad Anwar said Pakistan can come out of the current difficult situation by truly following the life and teachings of holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). He said special attention should be paid to address the problems faced by the masses.

Noorul Hassan Tanvir said special incentives should be announced for overseas Pakistanis who contribute immensely to our economy through remittances.

Mahesh Kumar commended the steps announced in the budget for the uplift of the agriculture sector, especially the solarisation of tubewells.

Shahida Rehmani stressed taking steps to avoid tax evasion, saying this will help fund projects under the PSDP.

She said Pakistan is faced with the issue of climate change, expressing surprise over the reduction in the budget of the Ministry of Climate Change for the next fiscal year. She said women should be encouraged to do business.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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