ISLAMABAD                 -                Senate Standing Committee Chairman Senator A Rehman Malik has asked NADRA to immediately provide the required data to the Sindh government, enabling the latter to reach out to the needy people. He has also directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to comply with the requirement of the Sindh government of verification of mobile numbers and other necessary data.

He has said that delay in the provision and verification of the required data will certainly affect those who are in need of financial help during the ongoing lockdown. Malik has asked the secretary interior to ensure that NADRA shares the required data with the Sindh government soon.

Malik said that all the institutions and provincial governments should cooperate fully with each other in this hour of crisis. “Particularly, the federal government should extend helping hand to all provincial governments,” he emphasised.

He urged the government and all those who were distributing ration among the poor to help the people in such a way that their self-respect was not hurt. The senator regretted that some people were taking photos and filming the distribution of ration among the poor people, which, he added, was inappropriate.

He called for avoiding such publicity stunts.

He said that according to Islam one should help in such a way that one hand should not tell the other hand. Malik suggested to the government that it should send aid in cash directly to the beneficiaries via mobile rather than making people line up for that.

The senator expressed the fear that chances of people contracting coronavirus could be greater if they were made to stand in a line. He also suggested to the government to make use of the Benazir Income Support Programme’s (BISP) since it already had the data of the beneficiaries.

He urged that it was need of the hour that such a method of transferring money online and through mobile cash was adopted which was transparent.

He said that the government should concentrate on gathering data of all deserving Pakistanis so that they could be helped properly in this time of coronavirus pandemic.

He said that he wishes the government has implemented well on time the 37-points National Action Plan on coronavirus suggested by Senate Standing Committee on Interior and the situation would far better today.