Since the launch of PM Imran’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Program, Pakistanis have been donating generously to help it fight the corona war. However, several also question the facts presented by the government in this matter and the intentions of the new relief fund when they still don’t know about the status of the dam funds
Twitter is divided over PM’s relief fund to fight COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan and Rs 12 billion collected so far for the Diamir-Bhasha Dam funds. Many believe that those dam funds should be utilized to fight coronavirus in the country.
However, in a telephonic interview with ARY News, the premier said it was not finalized how to utilize the dam funds to contain coronavirus pandemic. He added that dams are also important for the nation.
PTI leader Asad Umar also addressed the issue in a press conference. However, the PTI now took to Twitter and said, “People asking about the status of Diamir Bhasha dam & dam fund. Rs. 99 billion has been spent on the project so far, mainly for land acquisition. Wapda plans to award a contract for the dam and allied structures in the next few weeks”.
He also said the project will be hopefully completed in 2027-2028.
Dam fund which is kept under the supervision of the supreme court has Rs. 12 billion in it and govt will be requesting use of this money as part of the expenditure to construct the dam
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) April 2, 2020
People asking about status of diamir bhasha dam & dam fund. Rs. 99 billion has been spent on the project so far, mainly for land acquisition. Wapda plans to award contract for dam & allied structures in next few weeks. Completion inshallah 2027-28. (1/2)
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) April 2, 2020
Twitteraties react over relief fund game
People on social media are not convinced of any given explanation by the government and its officials. Many are criticizing the government for looting money for different causes. They are also insisting to use the dam money for the ongoing crisis as it is more important to save the lives of Pakistanis.
Many businesses, as well as poor, are suffering due to the lockdown in the country. Also, people are started to lose faith in the current PTI government as their promises still seem to be unrealistic.
The Government should Align its priorities.
The funds collected for Dam needs to be utilized for addressing the threats of pandemic, by taking Drastic measures to prevent the spread.
— DR MAHREEN BHUTTO (@DRMAHREENBHUTTO) April 1, 2020
And government should change dam fund into corona fund.. nd utilise that collected funds for public.. 💯 https://t.co/1PcGkaXULN
— M. Zubair Malik 🇵🇰 (@malikzubair321) March 31, 2020
I'd rather donate to private charity organisations as opposed to Imran's Govt Relief Fund. Who knows when he might use these funds to pay for govt salaries like he did with the dam funds.
— Awais Khan (@AwaisKhanAuthor) April 1, 2020
"Dam funds are saved but they will only be used on the construction of Dam",PM Imran Khan
Our question is, "Is a dam more important than health of the nation?
The dam will be of what use if you can't help the people in these crisis?@ImranKhanPTI #Corona #CoronavirusPandemic
— Syed Hamza Abbas Bukhari (@Hatshahabal) April 1, 2020
Why are the funds from the existing Dam Funds not being used sofar ? The new TIGER FORCE created by the PTI is blanketed with opacity? Why People are travelling
on Garbage Trucks (Dumper) to go their home town with
empty hands? This is Riasat-e-Madina?. pic.twitter.com/WaET8yYQaF
— KashfRANA (@kashf_rana) April 2, 2020
This is a bigger emergency. These funds need to be diverted urgently. You and I both know this dam will not me made in the next 10 years
— rafay (@rafiska81) April 2, 2020
Sindh Police not happy with coronavirus donations
On the other hand, Sindh Police is worried about the relief funds, as their salaries have been deducted to collect funds to fight coronavirus. In this crucial situation where police and doctors are working day and night to fight the pandemic, salary deduction has become a demotivating factor in their lives.
On the day of announcing lockdown in Karachi, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had announced that all the government officers of grade BPS-21 would donate half of their salary. While, the employees of grade BPS-11 to 20 would contribute 10 percent salary. Employees from grade BPS-1 to Grade 16 would contribute 5 percent salary.
A policeman asked, “What kind of justice is this that we are doing our duties more than routine hours and our salaries are being deducted? How we will fulfill the requirements of our family.”
“Why always such funds deduct from poor employees’ salaries. Why the government doesn’t deduct the salaries of senators and the parliamentarians,” said another official. He also mentioned that salaries must not be deducted from BPS-1 to BPS-14 because these employees really belong to middle-class families and they are also spending their lives hand to mouth.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 2,450 on Friday after new infections were confirmed in the country.
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