Imran determined to save economy from coronavirus impacts

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has underlined the government’s priority to save economy from the negative impacts of the coronavirus and ensure uninterrupted flow of economic activities in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said this on Monday while chairing the meeting of National Coordination Committee for Covid-19. The meeting was held to discuss measures to contain the disease. The Prime Minister said that protecting employment of the general public is also top priority of the government.
He directed the concerned authorities to devise a comprehensive strategy to provide relief to the common man in view of any possible situation and ensure availability of the essential commodities.
The Prime Minister stressed that the complaint of hoarding and illegal profiteering will not be tolerated at any cost. He said strict action will be taken in this regard.
Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, Adviser on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbass Bukhari and others were present on the occasion. All the chief ministers were present through Video link.
The urgent meeting was called over the increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan that jumped to 94 on Monday after more people were diagnosed with the disease across the country.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which are burdening the government exchequer, is in the national interest.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a briefing here on Monday about capacity building of state enterprises while being run under the Ministry of Industries.
The Prime Minister said the main objective to privatize state-owned enterprises or their merger or giving them back to respective departments is to reduce economic losses and enhance their performance and capacity.
He said business community and management experts will be consulted in this process. He directed the division of industries to expedite privatization process of approved state entities to ensure completion of this procedure within the stipulated time.
It was briefed that there are 38 organizations under Industries Division and nine of them will remain with it after privatization of 13 entities and merger of ten others, while five will be transferred to respective divisions and provinces.
Meanwhile, the National Ministry of Food Security briefed the session about availability of essential items in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the officials to ensure availability of essential commodities in the country. He also directed the officials to curb hoarding of the essential items.
He urged for maximum supply of all essential commodities at the utility stores to avoid shortage of food and other items.
He remarked that there was not a possibility of food shortage in the country. He also directed for ensuring availability of ventilators in hospitals across the country.
Meanwhile, Mian Amir Mahmood and Shakeel Masud, top office-bearers of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Monday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
During the meeting, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari and Dr Shahbaz Gill were also present, PM office media wing in a press release said.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in a tweet on Monday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a high-level committee headed by Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to safeguard the national economy against possible impacts in the context of effects of coronavirus on global economy.
She said government is committed to ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential items to people. She said protection of economy and employment is our responsibility.
The special assistant said, “Along with praying to Allah, we also have to adopt the strategy of prevention and cure.”
She said that the government has also started an awareness campaign with regard to the prevention, symptoms and treatment of the coronavirus. In another tweet, she said there is no need of being scared of the virus rather there is a need to combat it with full preparedness. – TLTP, NNI