Senators donate one-month salary for rain affectees

ISLAMABAD - Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Saturday, tabled the Finance Bill, 2010 containing Annual Budget Statement before the Upper House for making recommendations to the National Assembly It was perhaps for the first time that Dr Hafeez Sheikh came in the Upper House as Federal Minister when Deputy Chairman Senate Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali welcomed him with the words Come Finance Minister Kharama Kharama (Slowly, Slowly). The house will start it debate on the Finance Bill from next Tuesday, however Senate Chairman unanimously referred the Bill to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue. The committee will represent its report before the house on June 15, with any recommendations that it would find suitable in the budget document. However, the hot issue in the house was heavy rains due to tropical cyclone Phet that is hitting the coastal areas of Balochistan. Many senators belonging to Balochistan expressed their concerns over the inadequate measures taken by the federal as well as provincial government to provide relief to the affectees. The Senators urged the need to provide maximum relief to the affected people living in the coastal areas amidst a voice to voluntarily give one-month salary of the members to them. Mir Hasil Bazenjo on the point of order commented that about more than 2,500 houses had been collapsed in Gwadar and other adjacent areas of Makran Coast due to heavy rains but no employee of Disaster Management Authority was there for rescue work. Senator Babar Ghauri of MQM also endorsed Bazenjo saying that Pakistan Navy and Govt had made arrangements but they were not enough. Lashkari Raeesani was of the view that Balochistan Government had already announced Rs50 million aid for the relief work but rescue workers were facing difficulties due to strong winds in the area. The proceedings of the house were adjourned till Tuesday, 4 pm before the Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek announced the establishment of relief fund for the people of the rain-hit areas and to donate one-month basic salary of all the Senators for the fund.

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