Steps planned to mitigate virus’s impact on economy

Published March 17, 2020
PM holds extensive consultations with economic team, chief ministers and senior officials about awareness campaign. — PM Office/File
PM holds extensive consultations with economic team, chief ministers and senior officials about awareness campaign. — PM Office/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday held extensive consultations with members of his cabinet and senior government officials about the government’s strategy to fight novel coronavirus and its negative impact on the country’s economy.

In separate meetings, one of which was also attended by the four chief ministers through video link, some important decisions were taken. PM Khan issued directives for taking effective measures to stop the spread of the virus in the country.

In the meeting with his economic team, Mr Khan directed it to keep close liaison with the World Bank and other international agencies to get some monetary assistance if required to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the country’s economy.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to the PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the PM on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, federal secretaries and senior officials.

PM holds extensive consultations with economic team, chief ministers and senior officials about awareness campaign

PM Khan directed Mr Azhar to engage the World Bank and other international institutions so that any difficult financial situation could be tackled.

He said ensuring uninterrupted economic activities and jobs’ protection were topmost priorities of the government. He said the government was taking all measures to protect the economy from the negative impact of coronavirus.

The prime minister was briefed on the impact of coronavirus on the global economy and on the state of the Pakistan’s economy.

It was decided to set up an inter-ministerial committee headed by the finance adviser to keep a vigil on the country’s economy on a daily basis and to suggest advance steps in this regard.

He directed the economic team to prepare a comprehensive policy for providing relief to the common man keeping in view the emergence of any difficult situation and urged it to ensure availability of essential items in abundance.

PM Khan emphasised that any complaint about hoarding and profiteering would not be tolerated, and in case of such a complaint strict action would be taken against hoarders.

During the meeting with the chief ministers, PM Khan stressed the need for launching awareness campaigns regarding preventive measures to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.

In this connection, the prime minister said, he would soon address the nation.

“Being a nation we don’t have to be scared of coronavirus, but we should fight it,” he said.

All the chief ministers presented some proposals in the meeting which was also attended by Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, Interior Minister Ejaz Shah, Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, SAPM on Information Dr Awan, SAMP on Overseas Pakistanis Zulifikar Abbas Bukhari and SAPM Dr Moeed Pirzada.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has decided to run a well-coordinated nationwide awareness campaign about coronavirus on the special instructions of the prime minister.

PTI chief organiser Saifullah Khan Nyazee issued directives to all PTI regional presidents in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to launch an effective awareness campaign about coronavirus.

According to a press statement issued by the PTI central media department, he said the campaign would be launched under a well-thought-out plan to prepare people as how to tackle with the chronic disease.

The PTI chief organiser said under the campaign, people would be educated pertaining to the modern preventive measures against coronavirus.

He said people should follow necessary preventive measures.

He said PTI office-bearers and workers would educate people about the virus and inform them about modern techniques of cleanliness and hygiene to counter the menace.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2020

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