|(AJK Assembly session)|
MUZAFFARABAD – The meeting of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly was held on Friday under the chairmanship of Deputy Speaker Chaudhry Riaz Gujjar. At the beginning of the session, the Deputy Speaker announced the Panel of the Chairman comprising Members of Assembly Dewan Ghulam Mohiuddin, Mian Abdul Waheed, and Shah Ghulam Qadir.
In the meeting, Minister for Planning and Development Chaudhry Muhammad Rasheed prayed in the House for the recovery of former Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed and the officers and men of Pakistan forces who were martyred in the Balochistan helicopter accident and Waziristan terrorism incident. During the question period in the meeting, Minister of Education Diwan Ali Khan Chaghtai told the House on the question of Member of Assembly Mian Abdul Waheed that the matter regarding the provision of compensation/relief to the families affected by celestial disasters and those who were martyred and injured in traffic accidents will be discussed in the future.
It will be brought to the cabinet meeting. The necessary legislation will also be made in this regard. In response to a question of Sardar Muhammad Javed, Member of the Assembly, Minister of Government Abdul Majid Khan told the House that during the first edition organized by KPL, according to the MOU, the department paid one million rupees. The grant has been paid in the form of a ground fee.
The said income is from sports infrastructure across Azad Kashmir managed by this department as per clauses 1 and 2c and clause 8 of section 10 of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Development Control Act, 1988 under the Government Notification dated 26-01-2021. Against the income received, the salary of the temporary ground staff, ground maintenance repair, ground machinery, and other requirements were carried out as per the regulations.
Under the MOU between the Department of Sports, Youth Culture, and KPL, KPL season one was organized. In this regard, the draft MOU was presented in the meeting of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sports Board on March 17, 2021, in which all the members of the board unanimously decided that the draft MOU should be vetted by the Law Department and also by the PEPRA Authority of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The opinion should be taken on which the Department of Law One and draft MOU sent for vetting and at the same time sent to consult for PEPRA.
After vetting from the law department and the opinion of Pepra and government approval, the said MOU was signed between the PL Administration of the Department of Sports Youth Culture dated 15th April 2021 under which KPL Season One was held. The MOU signed between the Department of Sports Youth Culture and KPL with the approval of the government has been in force for 13 years, that is why KPL Season 2 is being held this year as per the said MOU. In response to a question from Assembly Chaudhry Muhammad Yasin, Minister for Physical Planning and Housing Chaudhry Yasir Sultan said that the plan for the sewerage lines network in Kotli city was sent to PSDP on behalf of which the project was included in the Development Program of Azad Kashmir.
In this regard, the matter has been sent to the Planning and Development Department. Moreover, due to the increasing population, the problems are increasing. In this context, PC-1 (of the scheme) has been prepared by the division and sent to the above (relevant forum). The scheme in question is included in the Kashmir Development Package, which is being processed.
On the question of Mian Abdul Waheed, Minister Mall Chaudhry Akhlaq said that the number of cases of natural disasters is higher in Neelam district than in other districts of Azad Kashmir. Especially in the winter season, the local population is affected due to avalanches, glaciers, and cloud burst events. According to the report received from the Deputy Commissioner Neelam dated 04-11-2021 (Appendix B) about the damages caused by celestial disasters in the Neelam district.
The details of the funds required for different categories are as follows: 23.75 million rupees for the dead, 19.89 million rupees for the injured, 56.96 million rupees for houses and household goods, 6.9 million rupees for shops and commercial goods, and 5 million rupees for livestock. 692 million rupees, 1.825 million rupees for vehicles, amounting to 115.017 million rupees (amount of eleven million five hundred and seventeen thousand rupees). Accordingly, the matter was sent to the Finance Department. In the light of the consent received from the Finance Department, an amount of Rs.60.85 million (Rs. Six Crore Eighty-Five Lakhs) was provided in the budget of Deputy Commissioner Neelam through a notification issued on 09-04-2021.
Later, on 12.07.2021, 5.190 million rupees (Fifty-One Lakh Ninety Thousand Rupees) demanded the damages due to flood in Salakhla Nala was provided and demanded payment of damages due to flood at Katha Piran and Bata. .470 million rupees (fourteen lakh seventy thousand rupees) has also been provided. The cases of other disaster victims have already been sent to the Finance Department and in the light of the new demand received, the matter will be sent to the Finance Department again.
It is worth mentioning here that the rate of compensation has been increased by amending the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Distressed Persons Relief Act, 1985 in the year 2020 and this amendment has been implemented from 01-07-2019, due to which people who have already received the previous rate of compensation. but due to the increase in the rate of compensation and effect from 01-07-2019, the arrears of these persons are also payable due to which more funds are required for disaster relief in the Neelum district.
The affected persons are paid according to the rate of financial assistance prescribed in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Distressed Persons Relief Act 1985 Amendment 2020 by the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district. The said law prescribes the rate of compensation for each type of loss. In the annual budget of the Deputy Commissioner of these districts, funds are provided for natural calamities from which payments are made to the victims. In case the number of victims is high in any district, the demand for an additional amount is sent by the Deputy Commissioner of the district through the Board of Revenue to the Finance Department. But due to the troubled financial situation, for the past few years, only funds have been provided for the payment of compensation to the dead and injured persons, while the funds required for other damages caused by natural disasters have not been provided as per the motion sent. have been done 3418000 rupees was provided in the budget of Deputy Commissioner Neelam in the financial year 2021-22 while the details of the additional amount provided are described in Annexure A.
In case of provision of funds to the victims in accordance with the Act in force, timely payment was made. However, the cases of deceased and injured persons are paid on a priority basis, while the compensation for other damages has been partially paid due to the poor financial situation. The explanation has been given in Annexure No. A Taj. Traffic accidents. In the cases of martyred and injured persons, payment is made under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1971 of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. In the year 2012, the government of Azad Kashmir amended the said law and formulated a separate procedure and schedule for the persons killed and injured in the traffic accident, which is effective from January 1, 2013, according to which the heirs of the deceased will be given Rs. The injured persons are entitled to a maximum compensation of Rs 3 lakh depending on the various categories.
In the year 2014, the said Ordinance was amended by making it into an Act that the owners of vehicles plying within Azad Kashmir are obliged to pay token tax, insurance/premium listed under schedule 12 of the said law and the owners who have paid the insurance/premium. If not paid, they will be obliged to pay compensation to the victims themselves in case of a car accident. Later in the year 2016, the said act was amended that if the insurance/premium has not been paid by the owner of the vehicle, then in the event of an accident of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle will be obliged to pay the compensation to the driver and the conductor himself.
Other passengers are compensated by the government. The victims are paid out of the amount collected as insurance. After these amendments in the law, the payment of compensation has become complicated due to the fact that most of the vehicles plying in Azad Kashmir are quite old and most of them do not have insurance. Due to this, there is legal complexity in providing funds. In this regard, the matter of appropriate amendments in the mentioned law is pending so that an easy and feasible method of payment of compensation for the victims of traffic accidents can be formulated. Told that Azad Jammu and Kashmir Distressed Persons Relief Act, 1985 is in force for payment of compensations/financial assistance for losses due to natural calamities/fires, etc. in Azad Kashmir.
The Act prescribes the rate of compensation depending on the type of loss. The said Act was amended in the year 2020 according to which the rate of compensation/assistance in case of loss of house/house is Rs. Damage 60000/-, household goods damage 50000/-, financial assistance/compensation to disaster victims/distressed persons, the government is trying to make immediate payment, however, the annual budget of the Deputy Commissioners are not approved by the Finance Department. Unforeseen Expenditure Disaster Preparedness