Proposal under consideration to merge ERRA with NDMA, Senate told

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ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Friday that a proposal is under consideration to merge the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to effectively cope with natural disasters in future.

During the question hour, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the house that a proposal to this effect has been put before the cabinet for approval.

The state minister said that NDMA is currently working in liaison with provincial disaster management authorities to provide assistance to the people in drought-hit areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

He said that NDMA has also constructed humanitarian response facilities at a strategic location in Quetta, Jallozai, Muzaffargarh, Lahore, Sukkur and Hyderabad with further facilities being planned for Islamabad, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit.

He said these facilities ensure the timely disaster relief is provided to the affected population. He said flood fighting equipment reserves have been established in Rawalpindi and Abdul Hakeem city.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari told the house that several laws are on the cards including anti-torture and legal aid bills in order to protect the rights of different segments of the society.

She said that the government has initiated an awareness campaign on human rights, including on the rights of women in inheritance.

Law Minister Farogh Naseem told the house that civil procedure amendment bill has been prepared to ensure speedy trial of cases.

He asked the opposition benches to support the bill when it is laid before the house for approval. The house offered fateha for those killed in recent acts of terrorism.

Responding to a calling attention moved by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar said that the wrong policies of previous governments widened the current account and trade deficits. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government got an empty exchequer when it assumed the power about three months ago. The house will now meet on Monday at 02:00 pm.