Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani directed the Chairman Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to focus on the completion of the ongoing projects followed by operational plans so that the benefits could reach to the people who were traumatized after the devastating earthquake in October 2005.The Prime Minister said this while addressing the 13th convention of the ERRA Council here today in the Prime Minister Secretariat.
The Prime Minister said that today’s meeting was unique in its composition with representation from Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit/Baltistan in addition to existing members from Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa and AJ and K.
The Prime Minister said that despite the recent destruction caused by rains in Sindh, his government commitment to the reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas remained unwavering and would provide requisite resources despite financial constraints.
The Prime Minister Said that it was encouraging to know that 55% of the total portfolio had been completed and 29% projects were at various stages of completion.
The Prime Minister commended the efforts of the people of Pakistan, global partners and the world community at large that rose to the occasion to help in “Building Back Better” mission.
The Prime Minister asked the Finance Minister to resolve the issues relating to the provision of funds to the ERRA keeping in view the imperatives of cost-effectiveness and development strategy specific to earthquake areas.
The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the acknowledgement by the UK Accreditation Services and conferment of UN Sasakawa Award 2011 to ERRA.
Minister for Finance while speaking on the occasion urged upon ERRA to devise strategy keeping in view the financial resources position and should avoid in taking up such ambitious projects the maintenance of which may become unbearable burden for the respective provincial governments.
The Finance Minister said to the ERRA authorities to bring next time the lists of completed projects in Education and Health sectors along with the incumbents working in there so that to have the fair idea about the utilization of the projects. “The projects should be people’s friendly indeed ” the Finance Minister observed.
Prime Minister of AJK, Mr. Abdul Majid Chaudhry, said that he would ensure that the recurring expenditures after the completion of the projects by ERRA were met by the A and JK government and no amount of austerity measures would come in the way of the projects meant for the people.
Minister for Industries, KPK, after extending his felicitations to the Prime Minister for holding the successful All Parties Conference yesterday said, that they had restored the educational, health and infrastructure facilities in the earthquake areas. He said that they had also upgraded many schools and health units in those areas to provide quality facilities in education and health sectors.
The Minister said that the Government would formulate a policy containing the operational plan and also maintenance of such projects those constitute the priority of the government.
The Deputy Chairman of ERRA gave presentation about the projects completed by ERRA and others those were at various stages of completion. Regarding the building of new city of Balakot describing it as the Flagship Project, the Chairman apprised the Council that there were some problems relating to the land acquisitions which were hampering the progress. The Prime Minister directed the Finance Minister, KPK Minister for Industries and the Chairman ERRA to resolve the issue and put the project back on track expeditiously.
The Council approved that the shifting of Muzaffarabad-Athmuqam road project be taken up at ECNEC for their deliberation and decision.
The Council approved that the Minister For Finance, KPK Minister for Industries, Mr. Shah Jehan, MNA and Chairman ERRA to decide regarding the payment of last tranche of Housing subsidy to Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund cases.
Earlier, the Chairman said that there were 3700 educational facilities yet to be built with the funds provided by the Government of Pakistan. He urged the Council to provide special funds as education was the priority.
The meeting was attended by Chaudhry Abdul Majid, Prime Minister of A and JK, Mr. Ahmed Hassan Shah, Minister for Industries KPK, Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Senator Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Sardar Shah Jehan Yousuf, MNA, Mahboob Ullah Jan, MNA and senior officials of the provincial governments and the Federal Government.
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