Govt to open essential industries in phases

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OBSERVER REPORT
LAHORE Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that to ensure that food-supply chain was not affected in the country; the government would open the essential industry in phases. Talking to media persons during a visit to a quarantine Centre here at the Jinnah Hospital Lahore on Saturday, Dr. Firdous said that the government was in consultation with the industry to chalk-out Standard Operating Procedures regarding health and hygiene of the workers before granting permission. The government had lifted ban on the goods transport for maintaining uninterrupted food supply, she said while responding to a question and added that the permission for wheat reaping and the allied indusPR incurring Rs1b in losses every week STAFF REPORTER LAHORE Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said the lockdown in the country has led to Railways incurring more than a one billion rupees in losses every week. “We are bound by the govt’s decision, but if this lockdown is over, we will run 20 trains, as they are needed [in view of existing demand],” Rasheed said while addressing a press conference in Lahore. He added that Railways will start its freight service with the PM’s permission from the 15th. “Before the lockdown, we started a record 20 trains and if, before the lockdown, we had not run 40 trains, passengers would have been stranded in Karachi,” he said. “In the last two days before the lockdown, more than 165,00 passengers travelled in trains,” he noted. He assured that pensioners and railway employees should not be worried as they had data of 1,670 coolies, which has been sent to Ehsaas Program for income support. BEIJING: Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan, as well as other Party and state leaders, stand in silence during the national mourning for martyrs who died fighting the novel coronavirus disease and compatriots who lost their lives in the outbreak, in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing. try was part of government’s efforts to save the country from impending economic challenges. About the construction industry, the SAPM said the grant of status of industry to the construction sector was a decision aimed at providing jobs to the unemployed labour in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, adding that the government had earmarked Rs 280 billion for procurement of 8.2 million ton wheat in the country to spearhead economic activity