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ERRA not to be closed down, quake-affected cities to be relocated, NA told

22 February, 2007

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ISLAMABAD: The Government in the National Assembly session on Wednesday admitted that about 33 thousand people are still homeless in the quake affected areas of Azad Kashmir and the government would provide Rs. 75 thousand per head to affected people for the purchasing of the land.

Federal Minister for Parliamentarian Affairs, Dr. Sher Afghan during the question hour told the House that Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) would not be abolished.

He said that the office of ERRA is in the Prime Minister Secretariat and so far Rs. 219.981 has been spent in the head of its administrative expenditures.

In response to a question, the Federal Minister informed that compensation upto Rs. 5 lakh has been paid to employees expiring during service in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) while Rs. 1 lakh in case of suffered disability.

The House Rent, Utility Charges, stipends for employees children, free travel facility is also given to NAB Employees as well as reward awarded to employees performed exceptional services.

He said that only 33 thousand quake-affected people are living in camps while 3.5 million made their homes, adding that the construction work in affected districts of NWFP is being carried out by the District Government. Temporary shelters have been provided to homeless affected women in the present chilly weather.

The Federal Minister said that the Foreign teams after completing their work have returned to their countries.

State Minister for Finance Umer Ayub Khan informed in a question that 5.73 per cent Foreign loans increase from December 31st 2005 to June 30, 2006 and the main reason for this increment is getting loans after October 05, 2005 disaster earthquake. Rs. 13.2 billion local loans obtained during that period, he added.

In a question, State Minister for Economic Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar informed the House the Foreign Loans should be evaluate by the ratio of GDP, adding that loans on interest rate of 0.75 per cent to 5.1 per cent have been obtained from China, Japan, Asian Bank and Islamic Development Bank.

She said that the international community had pledged 2.6 billion dollars aid for quake-affected areas and 2 billion dollars already utilized on the reconstruction and rehabilitation activities while remaining amount is being spent in relief activities.

The State Minister further said that soft loans worth of four billion dollars are being obtained for quake-affected areas, adding that the agreements of 3.5 billion dollars have been finalized.

Underlining the existence of ERRA, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Tahir Iqbal in question hour said that the construction work would be completed in 2008 and more than 6 lakh houses would be constructed.

He said that Muzaffarabad, Balakot and Rawalakot would be build on new locations, adding that the search of the place for the construction of Balakot is underway.

The Minster informed the House that the government would provide per head Rs. 75,000 to affected people, adding that Rs 1,75,000 would also provide for the construction of houses. Rs. 170 billion has so far spent in the quake-affected areas while Rs. 34 billion has been given as compensation.

The State Minister Trade, Hamid Yar Haraj in a question informed the House that Textile Machinery has been imported from 40 countries including India, machinery worth of 817 million dollar imported in 2005-06 and reduction in the import of these machineries observed, he added.

The State Minister further said that more incentives would be given to this sector and the Prime Minister has constituted a committee for the solution of problems facing by the Textile Industry.

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