Govt working on 3-pronged strategy to cope with challenging situation: Hafeez

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Monday that the government was working on three-pronged strategy, aimed at containing Covid-19 virus, provision of healthcare and food at affordable rates and assistance to business community to run their businesses.

He said this while chairing a meeting here with the Governor Sindh Imran Ismail and business community from Karachi through video conferencing.

Advisers to Prime Minister on Commerce and Austerity and Institutional Reforms and Petroleum were also present during the meeting.

“The government is faced with a challenging situation and in this challenging situation, the prime objective of the government is to do three things: (A) Contain the Virus, (B) provide health care facilities, essential food items at affordable rates and help to maintain enough cash in hand to the common man and (C) provide help and assistance to the business community to run their businesses during the times of the pandemic without a permanent set back to the economy,” the advisor said according to a press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

For this the government was seeking proposals and had been working on them, he said adding “we are hoping to give a plan that is simple and implementable to meet our objectives.”

“Have faith that the government is there to support you,” the advisor told the businessmen and asked them to look after the daily wagers and workers who were outside the registered regime as helping them was also a social responsibility.

On the occasion, the businessmen included representatives from the garments and textile sector, pharmaceutical industry, Pakistan Stock exchange and tourism and hotel industry, gave proposals regarding the issues they had been facing and the assistance they require from the government in the times of this crisis.

They requested that they should be enabled to look after their daily wagers in next two to three months and be provided with assistance to carry on their business with improvement of their liquidity position.

Secretary Finance informed that Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had given proposal and mechanism to the home department Sindh to help in running business/trading at stock exchange Karachi.

The food industry would remain open and continue business as usual and wherever needed the federal government would have dialogue with the provincial government to facilitate the business and trader community.

Governor Sindh said that they had prepared food bags with the help of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for the needy, which would soon be distributed. Governor Sindh also assured of his assistance wherever needed.