Provision of relief to daily wagers top priority: Imran Centre, provinces to take unanimous decision on lockdown

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STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair another session of the National Coordination Committee meeting in Islamabad today, after which final decision on the extension of lockdown will be announced. In the NCC session, which was held in order to review the country-wide measures taken so far to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the premier agreed that a unanimous policy regarding the extension should be given. In the meeting, the prime minister accepted decision of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to impose extension in line with the centre’s announcement. The premier asked the provincial officers to submit their recommendations Tuesday so a formal decision could be announced. The meeting reviewed different reports submitted by sub-committee and departments concerned about the arrangements to bring back all Pakistanis stranded abroad, management of quarantine centres at Taftan Border and status of Afghan nationals in the country. In the session, it was decided that the construction sector will resume work from today, April 14, under the first phase of measures taken for economic restoration amid the pandemic. The meeting decided to direct the district administrations to enforce SOPs regarding the coronavirus while resuming operations. The meeting, chaired by prime minister in Islamabad on Monday, reviewed implementation of the economic stimulus package announced by government to support economic activities in the country. The premier was informed that around Rs25 billion have immediately been released to National Disaster Management Authority for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of corona affected people, whereas, Rs50 billion have been earmarked for the procurement of medical equipment and provision of facilities to medical staff. About Rs15 billion were allocated for rebate in taxes on food items and goods relating to health sector and Rs10b of the allocated funds have so far been used in the process, the meeting was informed. The meeting was briefed that Rs200 billion were allocated to provide relief to daily wagers, while Rs 150 billion were reserved for weaker segments and shelter homes, however, this amount has been released. With Rs6 billion been provided to expand the network of shelter homes, the meeting was informed that Rs70 billion are allocated to provide ease to the common people in petrol and diesel prices. The meeting also high- lighted that around Rs50 bil- lion were reserved for provi- sion of essential items to the people on subsidised rates from utility stores .