PML-N Avoiding Conflict With PPP

PML-N Avoiding Conflict With PPP
Islamabad: Despite fresh salvo towards PML-N by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PML N which is the ruling party in the centre is avoiding a scenario where it will find itself locking horns with its coalition partners at this political juncture.

The PML-N will not engage in a verbal brawl with allied partners at this critical time but it appears the party will settle scores during the election campaign once they reach consensus to announce elections schedule or dissolve assemblies, heavyweights in PML-N shared with TFT.

“Timing in politics is very important. This is an improper time to  engage in a new controversy , as lot of opportunities will be there to settle the score,” commented a senior member, on the condition of anonymity.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently threatened the government to earmark sufficient funds for the flood affected areas of Sindh otherwise it would be difficult for the government to pass federal budget 2023-23.

PPP’s MNA from Sindh Nafeesa Shah also criticised the PML-N during the national assembly sitting and asked that the House focus on the problem of insufficient work for flood-affected areas.

Giving importance to the concerns raised by Bilawal Bhutto and MPs from PPP, the Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar has tried to placate the main coalition partner. He was not seen in the house during the National Assembly budget session last week to respond to any of the members over criticism regarding the 2023-24 finance bill.

On Monday, the Minister for Finance came all the way in the house and shared a plan in which he outlined a plan to carry out reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the flood-affected areas.

“Comprehensive roadmap to carry out reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the flood-affected areas has been devised,” he said, adding that relief work had already been done throughout the country with the disbursement of PKR 25,000 per family through the BISP programme.

The Minister said the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet had recently approved Rs12 billion to replenish the stock of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), keeping in view the predicted threats of the monsoon and the cyclone.

Following the widespread destruction caused by the heavy rains and floods, Dar said a comprehensive report had been prepared in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Union and the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives that suggested the economic and physical loses stood at around $30.3 billion.

He further said funds amounting to $16.3 billion were required to execute the physical work like repair of damaged houses and infrastructure, under the ‘4RF’ strategy i.e. resilient, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

In the General Donors Conference, the minister said less than $400 million were received while the pledges were made for bearing 50% financing for the reconstruction and rehabilitation work.

“It (the reconstruction and rehabilitation) will be like a 4-5 year medium-term development plan. It is not an issue and will be resolved as there are no two opinions. Roughly $11 billion, out of $16.3 billion will be spent in Sindh under the 4RF policy,” he said.