ISLAMABAD, Sept 7 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Tuesday that cash account for the distribution of compensation among the flood victim has been opened with an initial amount of Rs 10 billion. Addressing the participants of workshop titled “People’s Consultation: Developing a Roadmap for Integrated Flood Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation” , he said that the Federal Government has deposited Rs 5 billion, Punjab Rs. 2 billion, Sindh,Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Balochistan Rs 1 billion each while federal government would deposit Rs 1 Billion on the behalf of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Biltastin. The minister clarified that the government would utilize all its resources to start distribution of Rs 20,000 as first tranche of financial assistance among the flood victims as soon possible.
Kaira said that it was decided by the CCI that distribution of assistance to the flood-ravaged people would be done in a transparent and an equitable manner to the satisfaction of the nation and the entire world.
It was decided in the meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) that farmers having less than 25 acres holdings in the calamity-hit areas would be provided free of cost seed and fertilizers,he said.
The minister said that focus of the Prime Minister in the CCI meeting on Monday was transparency and it was decided that the forum of CCI would be used for policy level discussions and decisions about rehabilitation and distribution of assistance among the victims of flood.
The minister said that some elements were spreading incorrect information about the credibility of government which was totally baseless and false.
He said the federal government, while utilizing all its resources, immediately responded by mobilizing its forces including Army, Air Force and Navy and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for conducting rescue and relief work in the flood-hit areas.
He said that the government has decided that the whole process of distribution of relief aid should be brought on fast track without compromising on transparency.
The minister informed Ministry of Information and Broadcasting would launch a special website which would provide all details of funds received and spent on the flood victims.
He added that the government has disbursed huge amounts among the poor people through Benazir Income Support Programme(BISP) and the international institutions have not only appreciated its transparency,but they are also supporting the programme.
The minister said all the MNAs and senators had been given BISP forms without any discrimination.
He said after conducting poverty survey, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was functional in most of the flood affected areas which would also be supportive during the rehabilitation process.
Kaira said at Kotri barrage there was still a very high flood and water discharge from there was more than 600,000 cusecs.
The minister said the government would seek ideas from the general public to provide relief to flood victims till the return of last flood victim.
He was of the view no government in the world can single handedly handle the flood situation like Pakistan.
The last high flood recorded in the country was in 1976 and its duration was only 24 hours to 36 while current flood has been playing havoc in the country for past several weeks.
The minister said the flood has not damaged any barrage.
He also appreciated local people who worked for the rescue of the marooned people. “We must appreciate people who have rescued thousands of persons from the flood hit area”.
He appreciated the role of media in the crisis and urged it create hope among the flood affected people. He recalled that media during the Malakand and Waziristan Operations had played important role in creating unity and consensus among the government,armed forces and the nation to eliminate terrorism.
The minister said that the federal and provincial governments were reducing their expenditures and diverting resources from Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and other sectors to provide relief to the flood-affected people.
It was of view of the people that Malakand and Swat DIPs can not return in the three months time but PPP-led government done this difficult task within announced time.
The minister said there is no food security issue in the country. He added that presently the country has sufficient food stock. “We have about 3 million tons of surplus wheat, enough,pulses, rice and other food items.”
The minister urged the media to create awareness among the international donor agencies and NGOs about the flood situation so that they could help the affected people in Pakistan.
To a question, he said, the transparency in the aid distribution would be ensured at all costs, saying federal government had earlier extended fiscal assistance to 2.5 million IDPs of Swat in a transparent manner, besides having undertaken their proper rehabilitation.
To a question about the getting the international loans written off, he said it is not possible as if any country approaches some country or institution for loan write off,then it cannot approach any international institutions for any kind of loan in future – APP