Rs2.14bn distributed under Ramazan special assistance so far, says Sharjeel

By Our Correspondent
April 02, 2023

Over one million low-income families in the province have so far been granted over Rs2.14 billion as cash assistance by the provincial government for purchasing wheat flour during Ramazan.


Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said this while addressing a press conference on Saturday.

He said that text messages had been sent to mobile phones of over 3.8 million people from low-income groups in the province intimating them that they had qualified to get the special cash assistance during the holy month.

He told journalists that the Sindh government had reserved a sum of Rs15.5 billion for providing Rs2,000 to over 7.8 million low-income families each as cash assistance for purchasing wheat flour.

Memon said if anyone thought that he should get cash assistance on the basis of his low monthly income, he should visit the nearest centre of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) for registration for the special relief package.

He added that such cases of deserving families would be processed within 24 hours for providing them with special relief during the holy month.

He told the media that the Sindh government was ready to spend Rs5 billion more to make sure that more deserving families were covered in the relief programme.

The Sindh government had come up with a convenient mechanism to provide special assistance to deserving families during the holy month instead of making them wait in long queues on streets to get wheat flour, he stated.

He maintained that keeping in view the hardships being faced by deserving families in getting free wheat flour in rest of the country, the provincial government had adopted an easy way via the BISP system to disburse the cash assistance.

The information minister also commented on the stampede in SITE on Friday during charity distribution. He said he was saddened by the tragic incident.

He explained that the management of the factory had not informed any responsible authority in advance about the Zakat distribution and lack of adequate arrangements were responsible for the tragedy.

He said the intentions of the owner of the factory were good but they did not adopt the right strategy to disburse Zakat assistance.

He said the concerned donors and philanthropists should conduct such distribution activities in an organised manner in coordination with the authorities concerned to avoid such tragedies in future.

Police had registered an FIR of the incident, Memon said, adding that the chief minister had announced a compensation of Rs500,000 for each of the families of the persons who died in the tragedy, and Rs 100,000 cash assistance would be given to the persons who were injured in the incident.

The information minister remarked that no financial assistance could compensate for the loss of precious lives but the compensation announced by the Sindh government would go to some extent in mitigating the sufferings of the victims’ families.

Talking about the current political situation, Memon opined that never in the past, the Pakistani constitution and law had been undermined in such a grave manner as it was being undermined in the present.

He said policemen were tortured by supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Lahore last week, and Molotov cocktails were used to attack the police force.

The persons who were arrested for attacking policemen were later released on bail, the information minister said.

Memon lamented that no suo-motu proceedings were initiated by the judiciary following the violent attacks on policemen in Lahore. “For how long a single political party would be allowed to resort to such lawlessness in the country? For how long two parallel systems would exist in a single country?” he asked.