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Govt assures NA of probe into misuse of quake funds

15 April, 2008

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ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday assured the National Assembly that an investigation would be launched for embezzlement in the funds of earthquake victims during the tenure of previous government.

“Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had already ordered for an inquiry on the reports of misappropriation in the funds of the earthquake victims and the government would carry out the investigation in this regard,” said Law Minister Farooq H Naek while informing the National Assembly on Monday after holding meeting with the earthquake victims from Mansehra and Balakot, who were protesting outside the Parliament House.

The National Assembly that resumed its proceeding after two days, continued the debate on the power crisis in the country and took up the number of the points of order beside passing a resolution to ask the federal government to approach the United Nations for a probe into the assassination of Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto by forming a commission.

However, the debate on power crisis gave the opportunity to both the sides of the House for indulged into a blame game as the treasury benches accused the policy of the Q-League government for creating the crisis and the failing to initiate any additional electricity project in the country, while opposition defended the PML-Q energy policy.

Meanwhile, responding to a point of order, Naek said that he has received a petition from affectees of Balakot, who were protesting against non-receipt of compensation for their destroyed houses.

The minister said a large number of affectees have not received the announced compensation of Rs1,75,000 for each household and the prime minister has taken serious notice of the complaints.

He said the concerned ministers would visit the affected areas to assess the situation and assured the government would undo the injustices done to them. While resuming the debate on the power crisis, treasury MNA Syed Zafar Ali Shah said the provision of electricity in the villages, education for all and employment to all was the vision of Benazir Bhutto. He said the project of Ghazi Brotha was started during the tenure of Benazir Bhutto.

He said President Pervez Musharraf failed to fulfil his promises with the nation and all of his actions were only for personal benefits. He suggested that the government should give the subsidy on electricity tariffs.

Defending Shaukat Aziz government policy, PML-Q MNA Amir Muqam said the present government was making false accusation against the previous government for not starting any project for increasing the electricity in the country. “I have a right to move the privilege motion against the government for making false allegations against the previous government,” he added.

He claimed the Ghazi Brotha project was started and commissioned during the previous government tenure, besides the previous government also started Meerani Dam, Subakzai Dam and Nelum-Jhelum project.

He said due to economic policies of the government, the consumption of the electricity was increased. Praising the Ayub Khan era, Amir Muqam said the Tarbela and Mangla dams were built in that era while the PPP during its tenures came out with expensive tariffs of IPPs. The debate will continue today (Tuesday).


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