Domestic

World Bank to provide $323 billion to Sindh govt for farmers in flood-hit areas

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah talking to media persons during his surprise visit at Taluka Hospital Dokri. — APP/File

KARACHI: To help ease the plight of farmers in the province following the devastation caused by the floods, the Government of Sindh on Friday said it will receive $323 billion from the World Bank to provide subsidies for fertilisers and certified seeds.

CM Murad, in this regard, stated that he has prepared a scheme worth Rs30 billion.

“We have to revive our flooded agro-industry by giving them some incentives,” he said, adding that farmers were not in a position to purchase certified seeds, fertilisers, and other inputs.

To support the project and help farmers reclaim their lands following the catastrophe ahead of the upcoming Rabi crop season, World Bank agreed to provide $323 billion to the provincial government.

The Sindh government and World Bank will also be collaborating to launch a Rs110-billion housing project for the flood-hit population in the province.

The decisions were taken following a meeting between Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and World Bank’s Country Director Najy Benhassine, who attended the meeting through video link from Islamabad. To kick-start the project, a special unit would be established under the chief secretary.

During the meeting, CM Murad said that he has already deputed teams to clear water from the flooded towns and villages.

“The dewatering process is in progress and hopefully within one and half months water would be evacuated,” he said, adding that construction of houses will begin once water is disposed of.

CM Murad added ahead of the arrival of the winter season, housing arrangements would be required for the people impacted by floods and urged the world bank to finance the housing project.

Following thorough discussions and deliberations, the chief minister and World Bank’s Benhassine decided to launch the project.

The provincial chief secretary would be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the unit with the support of the public and private sector, after which construction of the houses will start. A survey to assess requirements for the housing project is currently underway.

Another project to repair Karachi’s damaged road network and drainage system will also be undertaken for which CM Murad proposed receiving a Rs13 billion investment; however, the World Bank has committed Rs6 billion, while the remaining amount of Rs7 billion will be arranged by Sindh government from other sources.

To overhaul the sewerage system, the Sindh government has also worked out a Rs25 billion scheme, which the World Bank agreed to finance through the Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP) project.

In the meeting, CM Murad also deliberated on the project of reconstructing the Jam Sadiq Bridge or a parallel bridge. Both the World Bank and the provincial government’s teams agreed to discuss the project in a meeting scheduled to be held next week.

Source: The News

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