ISLAMABAD Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said that the flood disaster had posed a huge challenge for the country for which the whole nation had to rise to the occasion. The contribution towards helping the flood-affected population has to be beyond any political and social divide. The Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to the financial team led by the Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, which met him at the Prime Ministers Secretariat to discuss the financial situation vis-a-vis the needs of the flood-affected areas. The enormity of the damages, the Prime Minister said, could only be met through a joint strategy of the Federal and Provincial Governments ensuring maximum help for the flood affectees. Keeping in view the budgetary limitations, he stressed that the Federal and Provincial Governments should strictly follow the fiscal discipline and austerity measures in the wake of economic pressure that had increased because of the flood relief works. The Prime Minister directed the financial team to prepare an efficient and transparent system for disbursement of funds that were being collected under the Prime Ministers Flood Relief Fund to the concerned organisations and the Provincial Governments. The system should ensure visible utilisation of funds, he added, so that the benefit reaches the affected people. The Prime Minister also directed that the Economic Affairs Division should coordinate with the foreign donors for the assistance being made both in kind and cash and accordingly, a criterion be worked out for the disbursement and utilisation of the assistance. Earlier, the Minister for Finance apprised the Prime Minister of the budgetary position and the economic pressure arisen out of the flood situation. He mentioned that the budget might have to be reprioritised because of the damages caused by the heavy rains and floods. The meeting was attended by Chairman BOI Saleem Mandviwala, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem-ul-Haque and Secretary Finance Salman Siddique.