KARACHI: Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has directed the Sindh government to start disbursement of cash for the seed the growers have purchased to grow the Rabi crop across the board within the next 20 days. “The flood/rain has already caused huge loss to the growers and now they prepared their lands for Rabi crops, therefore they must be supported to meet the requirement of their agricultural inputs,” he said this while presiding over a meeting at CM House on Monday.
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, provincial ministers, Manzoor Wassan, Sharjeel Memon, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Murtaza Wahab, Rasool Bux Chandio, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and secretaries of different department.
Provision of seed: The chairman PPP was told that the standing crops on an area of 3.6 million acres have been damaged in the recent floods which caused Rs421 billion loss to the growers. Murad Ali Shah said that to provide relief to farmers, it has been decided to provide free inputs to the farmers. “As a first step, an exercise is underway to compensate the farmers for wheat seed through cash transfers,” he said and added that Rs5000 would be given per acre.
The CM said that his government has provided Rs8.39 billion the federal government has pledged to contribute Rs4.7 billion. He added that the total requirement for the purpose was Rs13.5 billion. To a question, the CM told the chairman that the provision of subsidy on fertilizer was going to be worked out once the funding commitments from the federal government were made. He added that Rs46 billion were required for this intervention
The CM told the chairman that the World Bank was supporting the farmers holding land up to 25 acres. At this, the Chairman PPP directed the CM to give compensation for wheat seed to all farmers across the board regardless of the size of their landholding. CM Advisor Manzoor Wassan told the meeting that wheat was sown over an area of 2.43 million acres. Murad Ali Shah said that Rs45.51 billion would be required if fertilizer was given to the growers. He added that DAP and urea for wheat would cost Rs39.48 billion, the seed for oil crops Rs1.85 billion, and fertilizer (Dap and urea) for oil seed crops Rs41.8 billion.
The chairman formed a committee under Manzoor Wassan with Sharjeel Memon, and Syed Nasir Shah to collect and verify the data of farmers so that disbursement could be made at the earliest. He said that the farmers should be sent text messages to transfer funds to their accounts or through the mobile phone cash system.
Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that keeping in view the impact of climate change there is a dire need to construct weather-resilient houses for flood-affected people so that they could survive even if another natural calamity like floods or heavy rains lash them. “We need houses that can withstand droughts, heavy downpours, storms, floods, and such other disasters.”
Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah briefing the chairman PPP said that the heavy downpour/floods have damaged 1.7 million houses fully and partially, creating an urgent need for shelter. “The Sindh govt intends to immediately initiate rehabilitation efforts for the affected families, therefore we are finalizing a standard for housing reconstruction for the affected people,” the CM said. At this Chairman Bilawal Bhutto suggested that the houses should be weather-resilient so that they could withstand future calamities.
Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that keeping in view the impact of climate change there was a need to construct weather-resilient houses for flood-affected people so that they could survive even if another natural calamity like floods or heavy rains hit the province. “But this may take more time to select the technology, therefore the package for construction of damaged houses must be finalized at the earliest,” he urged the CM.
Replying to a question, the CM told the chairman that so far RS220 billion, including Rs110 billion pledged by the world bank, Rs55 billion by the federal govt, and Rs55 billion Sindh govt, has been arranged. He added that the estimated funding for fully damaged houses was Rs300 billion. Mr. Shah told the PPP chief that the PC-1 of the housing project was lying with the Planning Commission of the federal government. At this Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said that he would get it approved by the federal government and assured the CM that more donors would be approached to meet the total requirement of the funds.
The chairman was told that so far 749,979 tents, 525,177 Tarpaulin, 3.6 million mosquito nets, and 2.2 million ration bags have been distributed by the provincial government, NDMA, Pak Navy, and Airforce.
The chief minister told his party chief that poverty in Sindh would increase by between 8.9 and 9.7 percent points, “Multidimensional poverty is expected to increase by 10.2 percentage points,” he said and added among the provinces, the housing stock in Sindh has been worst affected, accounting for 83 percent of the total housing damages. The chairman PPP directed the Sindh government to implement social protection plan so that poverty could be controlled.
Mr. Shah said that on 31st August 2022, an area of about 1,988,919 acres (2.0 M Acre) was under inundation along the Right Bank of River Indus and the estimated volume of water was approximately 14 MAF. He added that as on November 10, 2022, an area of 1,547,959 acres have been evacuated which was about 78 percent of the total inundated area in Right Bank. and the balance area of land under water on the Right Bank Side was 440,960 Acres (0.44 M Acre) The CM said that by the end of November 2022, the expected evacuated area on the Right Bank of the Indus River would be around 90 percent. To a question, the CM told Mr. Bilawal Bhutto that the remaining 10 percent area would further take at least one month (December 2022).
Talking about the left bank of the River, Murad Ali Shah said that on 31st August 2022, an area of about 1,292,419 acres (1.3 M Acre) was under inundation. He added that as on November 10, an area of 1,169,742 acres has been evacuated which was about 91 percent of the total inundated area in the Left bank of the Indus.
According to the CM, the remaining area of land under water on the Left Bank Side is 122,677 Acres (0.12 M Acre) and overall 83 percent area on the Right and Left Banks has been evacuated. Chairman PPP directed the Sindh government to speed up dewatering from the low-lying areas, particularly of Khairpur district, KN Shah, and such other areas on a war footing. “This water must be disposed of before the advent of the winter season,” he said.