Thursday Mar 26, 2020
LAHORE: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday unveiled a plan to ensure the uninterrupted supply of food and medicines across Pakistan amid a virus lockdown. The plan envisions the use of utility stores for the purpose of ensuring continuity of food supplies to different districts.
"Citizens should use phone lines and mobile phone applications to order food and medicines to their homes. The distribution of these items should be carried out through Pakistan Post and Railways," Sharif said.
"Baitul Maal, Benazir Income Support Programme, and other subsidies should be used by the government to bring down the prices of essential items across the country," the former Punjab chief minister added.
Sharif demanded the government also provide the personnel of the armed forces, as well as other government employees working during the crisis, with protective suits and other items so they can stay safe.
Sharif paid homage to all soldiers, doctors, nurses, medical staff, government employees, and other public servants who were risking their lives to perform their duties in the time of crisis.
"The relief package announced by the government to deal with the coronavirus crisis is inadequate and incomplete. The concerns of the opposition regarding the package must be addressed," he added.
"The government should deal with the crisis with foresight, intelligence, and incredible patience. Instead, the government is seen taking frustrated and angry decisions," the PML-N chief said.
However, the plan did not provide any indication as to how the fiscal space necessary to execute it would be created.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the former chief minister will provide 10,000 face masks and an equal number of safety kits to doctors today.
She said that Shehbaz will hand over the equipment to former federal health minister Saira Afzal Tarar, Salman Rafique, Khawaja Imran Nazir and Ataullah Tarar.
"By evening, the safety kits will be provided to doctors of the Grand Health Alliance," she said. "Shehbaz Sharif has directed elected representatives to speed up efforts to provide relief to the people."
She said that the PML-N representative had directed local government elected members to become volunteers in the fight against the coronavirus.