ECC approved grant of Rs5 billion to be used for flood rescue

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet at a special meeting on Saturday approved technical supplementary grant of Rs5 billion to be used for rescue and relief activities and as compensation for deaths and injuries caused by floods during the year.

Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who visited flood-hit areas over the past week, announced setting up ‘Prime Minister’s Relief Fund’ and appealed to the philanthropists and well-off segments of society to support flood affectees with generous donations.

According to the ECC decision, the amount will be allocated from contingency provision of Finance Division as block provision to the National Disaster Management Fund (NDMF).

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who chaired the mee­ting, ordered immediate transfer of funds for timely help of flood affectees. The directive came after the Nat­ional Disaster Management Authority presented a summary for allocation of funds on the PM’s instructions.

The NDMA chairman requested the ECC that block allocation of Rs5bn may be made to NDMF.

Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Coordinator to the PM on Commerce and Industry Rana Ihsan Afzal, Coordinator to the PM on Economy Bilal Azhar Kayani, federal secretaries and other senior officers attended the meeting.

The prime minister while presiding over a separate meeting said the countrymen had already set a precedent in the world by making generous donations during the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods to support the affected populace.

The donations can be deposited in Account No: G-12164 of the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund 2022.

Mr Sharif observed that the historic rainfall had triggered huge catastrophe which had badly affected Balochistan, leaving a trail of unmatched destruction.

Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab were also badly hit, he said, adding that despite the difficult financial situation, the government had released Rs5bn for the affected families.

The prime minister urged the wealthy people to support the government’s efforts in the rehabilitation work. The affected brothers, sisters and children required support with the rekindling of the Ansar-i-Madina-like passion, he said.

The federal government has already declared an emergency situation in the flood-affected areas. The provincial governments had also been urged to declare them as calamity-hit areas so that relief and rehabilitation efforts could be expedited.

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