ISLAMABAD: Amid calls by opposition parties to audit the amount so far spent by the government in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, the ruling Pakistani Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has announced that the Prime Minister Corona Relief Fund (CRF) has swelled to more than Rs4 billion.
This announcement was made by PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan through his official social media account on Twitter.
“The PM (Corona) Relief Fund has exceeded the 4 billion Masha Allah figure. The generosity and jazba (passion) of all donors is laudable. This is indeed a big cause. Together we can and together we must, “the PTI senator tweeted.
In the same tweet, the PTI senator recalled that the government had decided to contribute Rs4 for every rupee donated to the relief fund.
There has been an increase of Rs1 billion in CRF, set by the government after the spread of coronavirus in the country, in less than a month after the same PTI senator announced via Twitter on May 1 that PM funds had touched the Rs3bn mark.
The opposition wants parliamentary oversight of the use of funds; Shahbaz called for a CCI meeting
Senator Faisal Javed sent written questions about the use of funds and opposition requests for parliamentary oversight, but he did not respond despite being committed to doing so.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced the creation of a CRF where people, including Pakistanis abroad, can donate money without stating their source of income during a televised address to the country on March 30. He has stated that those who deposit money in these funds will be given relaxation in taxes and the money will be used to provide food and cash for 15 million poor and needy people.
The prime minister said Pakistan must fight the corona virus wisely because it does not have enough resources like China and the United States.
The US, he said, had allocated $ 2,000 billion to offset the impact of Covid-19, while Pakistan only allocated $ 8 billion.
The CRF began accepting donations on April 1 and the prime minister himself made an official announcement in this matter through his official account on Twitter.
“The Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Pandemic Aid Fund 2020 has been formed to help us fight this pandemic. I want everyone to donate to this fund that will be used to take care of all those who have become poor by lockdowns, “Mr. Khan has tweeted at the official launch of the fund.
Speaking during a telethon held on a private television channel on April 10 to collect donations for the CRF, the prime minister said that in addition to using its own resources, the government was raising funds because the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis would “further worsen”.
Then, opposition parties, through a charter, called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to monitor how and where the CRF was spent, the quality of rations for workers, daily wage workers and other vulnerable segments of society and mechanisms for their distribution. .
They also stressed the need to ensure that the government does not use donated money for funds for political gain.
Opposition parties further demanded that a surveillance system be established to collect accurate data about the virus situation so that the public would be informed.
During a recent special session of the National Assembly and Senate, opposition members reaffirmed their request for parliamentary oversight of the government’s handling of the corona virus situation and criticized the government for its alleged lack of transparency in the distribution of aid amounts to people under the Ehsas Cash Program .
Meanwhile, the president of Pakistan’s Muslim-Nawaz League (PML-N) and Opposition Leader at the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday expressed concern and sadness over the increasing number of deaths and infections by coronaviruses.
“If there was a comprehensive strategy before the imposition and revocation of the lockdown, this disease would not spread aggressively throughout the country,” Sharif said in a statement.
Opposition leaders demanded that an emergency meeting of the Joint Interests Council be called upon to assess the current situation and that new strategies must be formulated based on learning.
Sharif once again warned the government not to continue to operate without a careful comprehensive strategy, saying that it had to make details of the public test data. He said there was no time to waste and clear priorities based on the developing situation had to be set to minimize damage by disease.
Published in Dawn, May 27, 2020
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]