ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday approved a compensation package for people of three union councils who were affected by the backflow of Mirani dam water in 2007 when the cyclone Yemyin hit the coast of Balochistan.
An official source in the finance ministry told Dawn that the minister had asked top officials of his ministry and representatives of Balochistan government to reconcile the figures of claims regarding the compensation.
On Wednesday, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch demanded an amount of Rs5 billion as compensation for the affected people.
Citing a report, the chief minister said about 35,000 people had lost their homes and livelihoods.
But contrary to this, the finance ministry estimated a loss of Rs4 billion.
Mr Dar asked officials of his ministry to reconcile figures of claims at earliest.
These decisions were taken in a meeting headed by Mr Dar where a committee presented its report.
The committee headed by Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood Khan was tasked to resolve, among other issues, the matter regarding payment of compensation to Mirani Dam affectees. It submitted its report on Friday.
An official statement issued after the meeting said that the finance minister during his meeting with the chief minister said that payment of compensation to affectees would be carried out after reconciliation of figures of damage estimates.
Mr Dar said it was after eight years that this problem was being addressed, adding that both federal and provincial governments would make efforts to solve the problems of affectees on emergency basis.
It may be recalled that an amount of Rs1.5 billion has already been paid to affectees over time. Rest of the amount would be paid in due course.
The minister also apprised the chief minister about the establishment of 18 new, modern passport offices throughout the length and breadth of Baluchistan to facilitate people at large.
The Ministry of Planning & Development (CDWP) has approved the PC-1 of this project which would soon be submitted to the Ecnec for consideration.
During the meeting, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa briefed the chief minister about customs checkposts functioning at different key locations in Balochistan.
There was complete consensus among participants of the meeting for activating the Gwadar Port to its full potential.
Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2015