Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Friday called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad.
During the meeting, the CM briefed the premier on flood relief and rehabilitation efforts in the province. He thanked the prime minister for helping flood victims and restoring damaged infrastructure.
Murad Ali Shah told the prime minister that 70 per cent floodwaters had been drained from flood-hit areas of the province. “Flooding has damaged 1.8 million houses in Sindh,” said the chief minister adding that a survey to assess damage has been initiated.
Shah also thanked the premier for giving special attention to the project of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and the development of the Thar coal mine.
Matters pertaining to the political situation of the country were also discussed in the meeting. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon was also present during the meeting. He, too, briefed the premier about relief activities being carried out under his supervision across the ravaged districts of the province.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar on Friday assured the Sindh government of full support of the federal government in flood relief efforts. The assurance was made during a meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and the finance minister. The two sides issues of mutual interest, including relief and rehabilitation work in flood-affected areas in the province.
The CM apprised the finance minister of the damages caused by the unprecedented floods and said that relief and rehabilitation work was being carried out in flood-affected areas.
The finance minister expressed federal government’s resolve to stand by the Sindh government in testing time. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, FBR Chairman, finance secretary and senior officers attended the meeting.
Separately, Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation Shazia Atta Marri Friday said that she had informed the National Assembly that after the recent devastating floods, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had directed provinces to carry-out fresh poverty surveys.
Responding to questions during the question hour session, she said that as per the reports of the international agencies the poverty level had increased in the country after the recent floods.
She said that the prime minister had allocated Rs 70 billion for targeted cash relief for the flood-affected people.
The minister said out of the total allocated amount about Rs66.22 billion had been distributed among 2,648,824 families so far across the country through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). She said that flood cash relief assistance had been disbursed among 2,648,824 families so far.
In Balochistan, she said about 241,163 flood-affected people had been provided financial assistance under the BISP. She said that a program is being designed to pull the people out of poverty. The minister said the Rs5.7 billion program is being prepared with the cooperation of the Ministry of Planning.
She said the key interventions under this program will include the development of 40 village social enterprises around agriculture and livestock value chains and the transfer of productive assets to 80,000 ultra-poor households for income generation and self-reliance.
She said that the BISP budget has been enhanced to Rs364 billion. She said a new payment mechanism is being considered to ensure that women beneficiaries get payments in a dignified manner.