Lacklustre PDMA performance irks NA panel

December 07, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat expressed its discontentment on the performance of provincial disaster management authorities and was of the view that federal government spared all its resources however, the relief could not reach the flood-affected people.

The Committee decided to call heads of provincial disaster management authorities in its next meeting to discuss the neglect. The Committee made these directions which met with the chair of its Chairperson Ms. Kishwer Zahra on Tuesday. The PDMA member administration apprised the Committee about the relief and rehabilitation activity carried out in the flood-hit areas.

He informed that 32 districts in Balochistan, 17 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 3 in Punjab and 9 and 5 districts in Gilgit- Baltistan and State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), respectively were declared calamity hit. As per information gathered through PDMAs, GBDMA and AJ&KDMA, 1739 people died whereas 12876 people were reported injured.

Apprising the Committee about the damages caused to public infrastructure, private property and livestock, the NDMA member informed that 131,15km of roads and 439 bridges were damaged whereas 204,8789 houses were damaged partially or fully. He further informed that joint surveys for damage assessment for calculation of financial impact of the losses was in progress and would be completed soon.

The representative of Finance Division apprised that Rs18 billion had been released to NDMA besides disbursal of Rs70 billion to flood-affected through BISP. He further informed that Kissan Package comprising 16 different components have been approved by ECC and would be announced after ratification by the Federal Cabinet. The NDMA member assured the Committee that post audit of all the expenditure would be shared with the Committee on conclusion of the operation.

The members of the Committee were quite skeptical about the performance of PDMAs and said that public representatives specially in KPK were not taken on board besides relief could not reach the affected people. They suggested to call the provincial disaster management authorities to answer the queries of the Committee members.

The Committee approved “The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and “The Oil and Gas Regulatory authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022 as proposed by the government after in-depth discussion.

The Committee said restructuring of government entities, civil service reforms, improving governance and reducing wastage of public money was imperative. The Committee stressed for continuation of the institutional reforms .