Govt trying to reschedule loans from IMF, WB, ADB: Qureshi

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STAFF REPORTER MULTAN Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that government was trying to get loans rescheduled from International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to deal coronavirus pandemic effectively. ‘The rescheduled amounts will be spent on health issues emerged from coronavirus’ he expressed these views in a meeting at Circuit House, here. The foreign minister observed that the incumbent government was carefully monitoring coronavirus trends at international level. The government had constituted two sub committees, he said and added ‘I am leading one sub-committee which is working on maintaining and promoting contacts at international level to deal coronavirus related issues‘. The other committee headed by Asad Umar was focusing on lockdown situation and supply of food chain in the country, he said. Shah Mehmood Qureshi informed that the government was in contact with European Union, G-77 and G-20 countries, adding the government was also contacting Pakistanis in abroad. To a question, the foreign minister observed that Pakistan was playing its role for lifting of international restrictions on Iran. Iran could not purchase even ventilators despite it had money to buy them, he added. stated that immense preparation was required for complete lockdown in the country. In China, about 60 million people underwent complete lockdown in Wuhan province, he said adding during this period, they (Chinese) mobilised over 45,000 workers for online supply of food items at people houses. He pointed out the government had to distribute meal at doorstep of the masses during complete lockdown in the country. About Tiger Force, he observed, first meeting regarding Corona Relief Tiger Force, would be held in Multan. Proper coordination could guaranteed success behind constitution of the Tiger Force, he added. Qureshi said every union council was comprised of six wards and the Tiger Force would be made in every ward. The youngsters of the Tiger Force would register names of labourers, ID card number, phone number and address, he added. He urged local parliamentarians and district administration to extend maximum cooperation for success of the revolutionary programme of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which aimed at maximum help towards the poor. Qureshi said that the incumbent government gave relief package of Rs 1200 billions, which was historic and the best in recent critical scenario. The government was well aware of wheat season, he said adding it would surely facilitate wheat reaping and other operations including wheat procurement. The foreign minister stated that the pandemic could be dealt effectively by forging unity. He lamented that opposition was busy in political point scoring only. On this occasion, Provincial Minister Dr Akhtar Malik, local parliamentarians and officials of district administration were also present.