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Sindh begins survey to give emergency cash assistance to small farmers

By Our Correspondent
November 22, 2022

The Sindh government has begun a survey to instantly develop a database flood-affected small growers in the province who will be paid emergency cash assistance of Rs5,000 per acre of their devastated farmlands to compensate for their massive losses due to recent floods.

This was announced by Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on Monday while speaking at a press conference at the Sindh Assembly. He said the emergency cash assistance would help a lot the cause of wheat cultivation in the province in the upcoming crop season.

Memon told media persons that the decision of the Sindh cabinet to fix the wheat support price at Rs4,000 per 40 kilograms for the upcoming cultivation season would also go a long way in encouraging the small farmers to grow wheat in sufficient quantities to avert a feared food shortage.

He said the government was fully focused on another important aspect of the post-flood rehabilitation work, i.e. reconstruction of houses for some two million people in the province who had been rendered homeless due to the grave natural calamity.

He said the UN’s climate summit COP27 by opting to establish a fund for the financial assistance of countries affected by extreme weather events had upheld the case of Pakistan on this issue.

He mentioned that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had made tremendous efforts to present the case of Pakistan that developing countries like it required emergency assistance from the international community whenever they were devastated by climate emergency.

The provincial information minister said that on the one side the foreign minister had been forcefully pleading the calamity case of Pakistan before the international community, while on the other the protest movement waged by former prime minister Imran Khan had done much harm to the cause of securing emergency assistance for flood victims in the country.

“After the flood emergency, the entire world started looking towards Pakistan as foreign dignitaries and international donor agencies started arriving in the country,” he said, adding that the PTI chairman by launching his long march created such a tense situation in the country that the international community had lost its focus on its drive to help out the flood victims in Pakistan.

He claimed that international donor agencies had put on halt their emergency aid programmes for flood victims in the country due to the protest movement by Khan. He alleged that Khan in order to secure his own personal interests had gravely endangered the cause to provide emergency relief to the flood victims in the province.

Memon further alleged that charity fundraising by Khan in the name of flood victims in the country had been spent on the PTI’s long march and running a heinous social media campaign to defame the state institutions.

He appealed to the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency to determine on what purposes the charity donations collected by the PTI for flood victims had been spent.

He said the complaint of the PTI chairman that the state institutions hadn’t intervened to stop the formation of the present coalition government in the centre had no lawful basis. He said political parties whose lawmakers were in a majority in the duly elected National Assembly were empowered as per the constitution and law of the land to elect a new PM.

Memon said the state and security institutions of Pakistan should remain alert when a person had been brazenly asking them to commit unlawful and unconstitutional acts. “This is not the first time that Imran Khan has made such an unlawful demand.”

He claimed that the PTI chairman during his stint in power had remained busy violating the constitution and law. He lamented that Khan had opted to dissolve the National Assembly on the basis of a bogus diplomatic cipher and kept on levelling baseless allegations against the state institutions in order to render them controversial.

Memon appealed to the top judiciary in the country to hold Khan accountable for his grave misdeeds and also try him under Article 6 of the constitution for “committing treason”. He said the PTI chairman should also be held accountable for levelling baseless allegations against the incumbent PM, interior minister and state agencies after the Wazirabad attack during the long march.

He said the rules governing the Toshakhana allowed the heads of the government or state to retain the precious gifts received from the foreign dignitaries after paying their prices but the same couldn’t be sold in the market. He flayed the manner in which the former PM had “violated” the Toshakhana rules.

To a question, the information minister told media persons that a high-powered probe committee had been constituted by the provincial government to investigate the recent scam related to Hyderabad-Sukkur motorway project after the arrest of the Matiari deputy commissioner. He said the arrests had been made in the Hyderabad-Sukkur motorway scam and whoever was involved in the scandal would be taken to task.