KARACHI: Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that transparency in the use of Corona Emergency Relief Fund is being ensured fully and the concerns of the Supreme Court will be addressed with full explanation and presentation of records in the next hearing.
In a statement on Friday, the Sindh minister said that a highly “credible committee” comprising Dr Abdul Bari Khan, Mushtaq Chhapra and Faisal Edhi, besides the Sindh chief secretary and the finance secretary was looking after all the matters related to the expenditure of this fund.
He said that all the money raised in the fund would be spent on assisting all deserving people who had been affected by the lockdown.
Mr Shah said that all the funds released so far had been given to deputy commissioners so that they could ensure distribution of rations to all the needy people in their respective districts.
External and internal audits had also been arranged to maintain transparency of all funding expenditures, the provincial minister added.
He said that the people of the province should believe that every single rupee of the corona emergency refund would be spent in a very transparent manner.
Nasir Shah said that the Supreme Court had been fully apprised of the amount donated in the fund and the expenses incurred in this fund through the advocate general of Sindh, adding that further details would be submitted in court in the next hearing.
The Sindh government was grateful to all those who donated to the fund, the provincial minister said.
He added that it was the people’s confidence in the Sindh government that they donated so generously.
He further said that the Sindh government was well aware of all the people who had been affected by the lockdown, and for this reason the government was in constant consultation with the business community and traders, adding that soon they would come to a unanimous solution.
He said that in a couple of days, businessmen would meet Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and various proposals were under consideration about opening of businesses which would be finalised after consultations.
He said clerics and all religious scholars were also being approached to seek guidance regarding congregations in mosques.
He said that the most important issue at this moment was the health and lives of the people. The provincial minister said that like the Sindh government, if other governments had adopted appropriate measures right from the beginning, the results could have been different today.
He said that if the governments of other provinces, including the federal government, had declared all the necessary standard operating procedures from the very beginning and had implemented strict lockdown right from day one when the first patient of coronavirus emerged, then certainly today the number of people affected by the virus would not be so high.
Corona negative certificates
He said that all those whose coronavirus tests had been reported negative would be sent home soon in accordance with the health advisory.
The minister said that all people tested negative would also be given certificates by the deputy commissioner before they leave for their homes.
Mr Shah said that all suspected coronavirus patients would have to quarantine themselves for 14 days in their homes, and in the meantime, they would also have to ensure social distancing from their family members.
He also appealed to the people to stay at home and adopt social distancing and asked them not to leave their homes unnecessarily, and cooperate with the Sindh government in getting rid of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Shah also thanked all religious scholars and the people who followed the government announced lockdown from 12pm to 3pm on Friday and stayed at home.
He said that the government of Sindh expected and believed in the same kind of cooperation from the people.
Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2020