‘Smart lockdown possible with SOPs’

Governor says govt wants economy’s wheel running alongside anti-virus precautions

​ Our Correspondent May 04, 2020

LAHORE: The smart lockdown’s success depends on the complete implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), otherwise it will cause more harm than good, said Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar. He stated this while chairing a meeting at the Governor’s House on Sunday.

Punjab Forest Minister Muhammad Sibtain Khan, Haji Muhammad Ramzan and other officials concerned were present on the occasion.

The governor added that the government wanted that the economy’s wheel to start running along with proper precautions to avoid the coronavirus infection. “Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to transform the country into a true welfare state. The government introduced a financial support package for small businessmen and Rs12,000 for those families that lost their jobs in the wake of the pandemic.”

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He commented that poor and vulnerable families will not be left unattended during these testing times.

The governor further said, “The people were facing severe economic challenges as well health issues during the pandemic.”

Since the business community was facing serious problems in the wake of lockdown, he maintained, the government was making efforts to switch towards smart lockdown. “However, if the industries failed to meet the agreed upon SOPs during smart lockdown, there would be more harm than good.”

The governor elaborated that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the incumbent government was taking innovative steps to help all those who had lost their jobs during the ongoing pandemic crisis. “Daily wagers, workers at shops and industries could get themselves registered at a separate portal in the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme and receive Rs12,000 financial assistance.”

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He acknowledged that the daily wagers were the worst-hit segment of the society. “It is due to this that a package of Rs200 billion was allocated, for people of lower-income backgrounds, in the most transparent manner without any political discrimination.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2020.

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