Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday called for collective efforts to rehabilitate the flood affected people by rising above political affiliations and assured transparency and ‘zero tolerance’ in collection and distribution of donations.
Addressing a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) here at the PM Secretariat, attended by the four Chief Ministers, federal ministers and senior officials to discuss the situation in the wake of worst ever flooding, Gilani stressed the need for drawing a strategy to deal with this national catastrophe.
Gilani said the government has received rough estimates of billions of dollars due to the damages caused to crops, private properties, government buildings, communications network, power infrastructure, food storage, livestock and poultry, health and education facilities.
He said adverse effect on future economic growth will also off-set the financial gains made by the government in the last two years.
“We will have to re-prioritize our economic goals and drastically cut-down expenditures. I expect full cooperation from the provincial governments in this regard,” Prime Minister Gilani said.
He said the CCI was the most appropriate forum to handle these issues in an equitable manner, as it has the mandate to formulate and regulate policies in relation to matters concerning provincial and the federal governments.
He called for a strategy to deal with this national catastrophe with special emphasis on immediate relief measures, planned rehabilitation, a sustainable reconstruction plan and equitable utilization of flood relief funds and items.
He said it would be made in a transparent, fair and judicious manner through an institutional oversight mechanism which meets international standards.
“We need to make a collective plan for our distressed brothers and sisters, without a consideration for political gains, party affiliation or regional preferences.”
He said for him every flood affected whether from Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkwa or Punjab was as dear as his own kith and kin.
“Our immediate task is to save the lives of the people stranded in the flood affected areas,” the prime minister said.
He said rescue operations were successfully being carried out with the help of Army, Navy and the Air Force.
Regarding the collection and distribution of funds, Prime Minister Gilani said “let me categorically assure everyone that there shall be no discrimination in distribution of the available resources.”
He said every penny received and each item collected would be distributed to the provinces, by the Federal Government, in a most transparent just and equitable manner.
“I have instructed the concerned agencies that there will be zero tolerance for misuse of authority,” he added.