–Firdous says PM has directed Rangers to ensure smooth flow of goods transportation after Sindh govt’s reluctance
–Federal cabinet approves PM’s financial stimulus package
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday decided to restore the transportation of goods transport in all four provinces keeping in view the prevailing coronavirus situation.
Briefing the journalists following the cabinet meeting, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked Pakistan Rangers to remove all hurdles in the smooth flow of food goods transportation across the country.
According to Firdous, the PM expressed displeasure “in strong words” over the fact that despite the National Coordination Committee’s decision for all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to keep transport lines open for essential goods, the Sindh government did not implement the same.
She that all export and import takes place through the Sindh shipping port and due to administrative measures and a transport lockdown, traders are facing challenges. “The supply goes all the way to Gilgit-Baltistan. With no loaders present or those who pack goods or a lack of facilities, the supply chain is facing a delay.
“Rangers will ensure all obstacles in the transport of goods are removed and the transport of goods is secured and ensured,” said Awan.
It may be noted here that after the lockdown and partial lockdown across the country, the transporters have been facing hurdles. Karachi Goods Carrier (KGC) President Rana Muhammad Aslam had said the government had exempted goods transportation from lockdown, but basic facilities needed on highways were not being provided.
“Drivers are complaining of not having food and workshop facilities on highways.” Thus, he added there were chances that transport would be squeezed further. If the government wanted a smooth supply of eatables, it would have to ensure that the needed facilities were available along the highways, he had added.
RESCUE PACKAGE APPROVED:
The federal cabinet also approved the PM’s financial stimulus package to deal with the adverse impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the country’s economy.
The special assistant said the labour ministry has been directed to prepare a strategy of complete registration of labour class in consultation with all provinces to ensure their social, health and job security.
Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the cabinet about the mechanism of cash transfer worth Rs150 billion to at least “12 million poor families” across the country under the Ehsaas Programme.
Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza informed the federal cabinet about the measures taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic and the decisions taken by the National Coordination Committee on coronavirus.
Firdous said the prime minister also directed to introduce reforms in the state institutions to promote e-governance.
Terming Sukuk bonds vital for the promotion of Islamic Banking, Firdous said the government has decided to issue the bonds for a period of three years.
She said the National Coordination Committee’s meeting will be held in Islamabad on Wednesday to address the prevailing situation of the flour crisis in the country.
She urged the opposition to avoid politicising the current situation and join hands with the government to contain coronavirus. Firdous said the government will welcome suggestions and proposals by the opposition in this regard.
The premier’s aide on information also said that the prime minister was informed during the cabinet meeting that coronavirus patients are being treated as “untouchables”. She said this is a “criminal act” and t hat the prime minister expressed great disapproval of the fact.
“Law enforcement agencies or hospital security officials mistreating them have been strictly told to treat them well and not treat them as criminals and not to push them into quarantine,” said Awan.
She said that admission into a quarantine facility it should be carried out respectfully with the patients’ approval and their families’ consent and that all governments had been told to strictly comply with this.