Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistans president, has dismissed concerns that international aid to help 20m people affected by massive flooding could be misused. Mr Zardari said his government was stepping up domestic efforts to raise money for flood relief. International donors have so far committed just over $300m to a United Nations appeal for $460m to provide emergency relief for victims of a disaster that put a fifth of Pakistan under water. UN officials say many donors want to see tighter monitoring of the relief effort before they increase their aid commitments. Donors are worried over the possibility of large-scale corruption and want to see evidence of a very efficient utilisation of their funds before they step forward, a UN official said. Speaking to the FT, Mr Zardari challenged his critics to prove there had been even one scandal so far that involves the misappropriation of [flood] funds. The displacement of more than 10 per cent of Pakistans population has prompted concern over the stability of the nuclear-armed country, already beset by an Islamist insurgency. Some Pakistani politicians have even called for military intervention in order to prevent the country from descending into chaos. The government estimates that $43bn will be needed for relief and reconstruction work. Mr Zardari said local officials in Islamabad and Karachi have agreed to levy a one-off tax on large urban properties in the federal capital and the southern Sindh province to raise flood funds, estimating this could raise Rs7bn ($82m). Unless we can begin coming up with the money ourselves, how can we expect [foreign] taxpayers to be generous? he said. It is not the amount which matters it is also the intent. Finance officials said earlier this month that the government was considering a one-off national income tax levy for flood reconstruction. Many of the countrys wealthy landowners are controversially outside the income tax net, but could be hit by the property tax. Mr Zardari, who was widely criticised for continuing a visit to Europe as the floods engulfed his country, has for past two weeks been travelling across Sindh province, the worst hit region and the political heartland of his ruling Pakistan Peoples party. Mr Zardari said he would urge provincial governments controlled by other parties to also impose a flood levy on property. He said the government would introduce an identity card for flood victims to ensure aid reaches those in need. Although he denied any wrongdoing, Mr Zardari was jailed on corruption charges from 1990 until 1993 over his business activities when his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, was prime minister during the 1980s and 1990s. (Financial Times)