PM announces grant of Rs 40 mln for loan payback; compensation for Dasu quake victims

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DASU, Oct 29 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Thursday announced a grant of Rs 40 million to help earthquake
affected people pay back their agriculture loans.
Addressing the victims of earthquake, the Prime Minister said
the government can understand their pain and loss and would do all
within its means to bring them comfort.
The Prime Minister, accompanied with Information Minister
Pervaiz Rashid and Chief Minister KPK Pervaiz Khattak were informed
by the local representatives that the people of the area were facing
difficulties in paying back their agricultural loans, owing to the
natural calamity.
The Prime Minister said lists of those who had acquired the
loans need to be prepared with due care, to ensure that all
those who had outstanding loans, be able to pay it back.
He said the federal government in collaboration with the
provincial government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would pay an amount
of Rs 600,000 to each of the dead, while the injured would be paid
Rs 100,000 and for those who lost a limb – compensation would be
Rs 200,000.
He also announced payment of Rs 200,000 for fully destroyed
houses and Rs 100,000 for partially damaged.
He said the compensation package was for the earthquake
victims of FATA, Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and
payments would be made from next Monday, after due verification.
The Prime Minister said though the earthquake measured much
higher than the one of Oct 2005, but with the grace of Allah
Almighty the losses were far less.
Prime Minister Sharif said the government was trying its best
to reach out to the far off places. There were some areas
that were inaccessible by roads, so helicopters would be used to
drop the relief goods.
He said the first priority was to provide shelter, blankets and
food rations to help the people cope with the calamity.
He directed the local administration to ensure that the relief
measures were geared up to reach out to the people living in
difficult areas. He also directed the Chairman NDMA to ensure that
relief goods reach the needy without any delay.
The Prime Minister said the elected representatives of the
area have also been directed to fan out to the affected areas and
monitor the relief and rehabilitation measures.
He regretted that the literacy level in the area was quite low
and said the government would provide more funds for setting up new
educational institutions.
Referring to the expansion of the Karakoram Highway, the Prime
Minister said the project would usher in a new era of prosperity for
the people of the area. He said similarly work on the Dasu dam was
going on at a good pace and it would help create employment
opportunities for the local people.
Nawaz Sharif said the area was rich with scenic beauty and this
potential needs to be fully exploited to attract more local
and foreign tourists, which he added would generate economic
activity.