CM, WB delegation discuss provision of subsidies to small growers

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in his meeting with the World Bank delegation led by its Country Director Najy Benhassine discussed the provision of targeted subsidies to the small growers for agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilizer so that they could plant their upcoming rabi crop, particularly the wheat.

“Our government [Sindh] is keen to rehabilitate and strengthen growers, particularly the small ones so that their submerged agricultural lands could be made fit for plantation,” he said and added the growers have suffered a huge loss during the Kharif crops in which their standing crops were washed away.  Shah said that $100 million may be allocated for the agricultural subsidy for the Rabi crops which was agreed upon in the meeting, however, Minister Agriculture Manzoor Wassan was directed by the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to hold a departmental meeting with the Agriculture Sector Experts of the world bank for developing modalities.   Construction of houses: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told the visiting donor agency’s delegation that his government has formed a Housing Company that has been registered with SECP.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah added that his government has appointed Mr. Khalid Shaikh as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company as per the requirement of the World Bank. Murad Ali Shah said that he has put Rs 500 seed money in the company and its Board of Directors (BoDs) is being nominated. It may be noted that the World Bank, in principle, has already agreed to provide Rs110 billion to start the reconstruction of the houses that collapsed during the heavy rains and floods.Sindh chief minister said that the floods have collapsed/damaged 1.8 million houses as per the initial survey and a proper survey is underway.

The meeting discussed the rehabilitation of the Irrigation system damaged by heavy rains/floods for which $370 million has been agreed.  Shah said that the flood protection bund, Manchhar Lake, various other embankments, regulators of canals, and drainage systems have been damaged badly by the floods.

“We, have to prepare for the next year’s monsoon season by strengthening their banks, repairing regulators and drainage systems,” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said and added that his government wanted to take such overhauling works on a priority basis.

The world bank team told the Sindh govt that the PC-1 of the projects should be prepared and approved by the provincial and federal governments’ concerned forums so that they could be considered for approval in the world bank board scheduled to be held in December.

The Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shahr directed his team to prepare and approve the necessary documents to meet the world bank’s deadline.

The Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, and the World Bank Country Chief Najy discussed a water supply project of $94 million. Under the project, the water supply schemes damaged during the floods would be rehabilitated or revamped.   The meeting agreed to finalise the modalities of the project so that it could be started.

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