ISLAMABAD: The 15-Member National Oversight Disaster Management Council (NODMC), which held its marathon meeting on Friday, called on the Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani at the Prime Minister‘s House. The Prime Minister assured full support from the government to the Council in discharging the responsibility bestowed upon them by the nation. He asked the Council to urgently finalize specific and clear terms of reference for the functioning of the Council.
The Prime Minister asked the Council to guide the flood relief implementation agencies in providing shelter to the affectees at the earliest since it would take sometime in repair and reconstruction of damaged houses. He also directed the NDMA to get the school buildings vacated and establish relief camps for the affectees occupying the school building so that the studies of children of these schools are not affected any longer.
The Prime Minister directed the Minister for Food & Agriculture and the Secretary Finance to brief the Council tomorrow on the assistance being extended to affected farmers and the financial implications in the same context. Mr. U.A.G. Isani, Chairman of the Council, thanked the Prime Minister for the confidence reposed in all the members of the Council and assured that they would all try their best to come upto the expectations of the nation. He informed the Prime Minister that all the members of the Council have decided to work on honorary basis.
The Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh informed the meeting that in pursuance of the CCI decision, an amount of Rs. 12 billion was released and disbursements of Rs. 20,000/- as first installment to each affected family has been started in the country through Watan Card. As soon as 75 % of the Rs. 12 billion fund is exhausted, the allocation will be replenished. The Finance Minister also informed the meeting that Governor State Bank has been assigned by the ECC to work out modalities for provision of free seed and fertilizer for the rabi crop to the small farmers affected by the floods.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs said that the whole nation looks towards the Council set up with national consensus. The task before the Council is challenging but the nation is confident that the Council would come up to its expectations. He assured the Council that all institutions and government machinery are at the disposal of the Council to facilitate its task and provide assistance to the unfortunate victims of the catastrophe in a transparent manner. Cabinet Secretary, Chairman NDMA and Secretary Information were also present in the meeting. NNI