LAHORE - LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir has urged the government to include the construction of dams in its priorities in order to prevent the worst destruction from future floods.
In a statement, Mian Nauman Kabir said that if the lessons had been learnt from the disasters of the past floods and small dams were constructed in rain-fed areas of all the provinces along with big dams, such widespread destruction would not have occurred.
The LCCI president said that the economic losses inflicted by the deadliest floods were estimated over $ 40 billion while the intensity of prevailing floods is more than the previous ones.
“If the governments don’t take precautionary measures and comes into the action with full force, the damage will be multiplied many times and will shatter very basis of the economy in the days to come”, Mian Nauman Kabir added. While quoting some reports and estimates by the international institutions, the LCCI president said that the agriculture sector is the major victim of the floods which contributes around 23% in the GDP.
The LCCI president feared that the because of vulnerability of the agriculture sector, the government will have to make additional import of agri products in general and cotton in particular with a collective worth of $ 4 to 5 billion. He said that the cotton sowing has been destroyed to a large extent which is a major raw material of the textile industry which contributes over 60% in the exports. He said that unavailability of cotton will negatively impact the textile exports and collective exports of the country be dropped.
The LCCI president said that the deadly floods have also caused massive damage to the rice crop which contributes around $2.5 billion in the annual exports. The damage will result in loss of exports, reduction in GDP growth and higher CPI inflation.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that around 1000 people have their lost their lives, their houses, agri land while more than 800,000 lakh cattles have been perished while over 300 million people are sitting under the open sky. He said that the water from the flash floods will take three to four months to disappear after which there is a fear of epidemics.
He said that the existing situation is alarming and upcoming seems to be terrible and the government and all the political parties focus on the help of flood victims instead of blame games. “Big and small dams at various locations in the country are the only solution to avoid the devastation by the floods in future”, Mian Nauman Kabir added