Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had failed to implement Flood Protection Programme (FPP) which multiplied damages in the country.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said that in 2013, when the PML-N government took charge, the country had already faced devastated floods in 2010 and it launched the fourth phase of Pakistan FPP to minimize the impacts of such floods. “In May 2017, we got approved the Programme from Council of Common Interests and duly signed by all the provinces and it was agreed that new infrastructure would be built under the programme”, the minister said.
The minister said it was also agreed that Rs 177 billion would be spent under the programme and the provinces would contribute half of the amount. However, he said despite completing the final road map to spend Rs 177 billion under the programme, the coming PTI government dumped this programme and not spent a single rupee on it. “If the government spent Rs 177 billion under the programme, the loss would be far less than what we were facing now, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal said a big challenge was ahead as 30 million people had been affected from devastating floods and the government had to help them achieve self-reliance, adding that the recent floods and torrential rains had destroyed around 1 million houses. The minister said due to the current catastrophic situation in the country, Pakistan requires $10billion to overcome the situation that evolved after the flood. Ahsan said that yesterday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board has approved $1.17 billion through the EFF program.
He said that Chairman PTI Imran Khan and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin performed shameful acts against national interests and an attempt to push the country into economic default. The Minister said that in the outer world only neighboring India and inside Pakistan only the PTI leadership has opposed the IMF program, adding that if the program was not approved yesterday the country would be facing several challenges including inflation and foreign reserves.
He highlighted that in leadership of Prime Minister, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, the government was committed to reduce the expenses to allocate there resources for flood areas. The Minister said that the government has reviewed the Pakistan Development budget, and diverted these funds for flood rehabilitation and reconstruction. Ahsan said that this was a big challenge and now we all are required to show unity and social solidarity to unite against this catastrophe. He appeals to the business community and overseas Pakistanis to donate for the affected peoples.