World institutions hailing relief packages announced by Govt in face of COVID-19, NA told

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World institutions hailing relief packages announced by Govt in face of COVID-19, NA told

ISLAMABAD-National Assembly was informed on Thursday that the world institutions are hailing the relief packages announced by the present government for different segments of the society during these testing times.

Participating in the debate, Aliya Hamza of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said it is because of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s debt relief call that the loans of the developing countries are being suspended. 

Aisha Ghaus Pasha of PML (N) said the Covid-19 has badly affected the economy and livelihoods of the people.

Abdul Qadir Patel of Pakistan Peoples Party criticized the government for the flour, sugar and petroleum products’ crisis in the country.

Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan laid before the lower house (National Assembly) the Hyderabad Institute for Technical and Management Sciences Bill, 2020.

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Zain Qureshi laid before the house the 1st and 2nd Biannual Monitoring reports on the implementation of National Finance Commission.

The House has now started discussion on a motion expressing gratitude to the President for his address to the joint sitting of the parliament last year.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Nausheen Hamid said there are one hundred and seven laboratories across the country which have the capacity to carryout forty six thousand coronavirus tests daily.

Nausheen Hamid while answering the questions of opposition members said we will soon achieve the testing capacity of fifty thousand as per the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

She said we have not only achieved self-sufficiency in personal protective equipment but also exporting them to other countries.

Nausheen Hamid said two hundred and fifty ventilators were provided to the provinces.

She said given the increase in corona cases, we have started preparing one thousand more ICU beds.

Khawaja Asif of PML (N) voiced concerns over the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.

He said the WHO has suggested intermittent lockdown to check the spread of the contagion. 

Abdul Shakoor of MMA said the schools should be reopened under certain SOPs. He said the government should also announce a package for the staff and teachers of the private schools including seminaries.

Khurram Shahzad Nawaz of PTI said our country cannot afford lockdown. He appreciated the government’s strategy to deal with the pandemic.

Shazia Marri of PPP said Sindh government has taken action against those violating the SOPs. She stressed for collective efforts to deal with the pandemic.

Minister for National Food Security Fakhar Imam has said the federal and provincial governments are working in close coordination to cope with the challenge posed by locusts.

Speaking in the National Assembly today, he said a national locust control center has been operationalized to move forward with consensus. The Minister said there is a proposal to allocate twenty billion rupees in the next fiscal budget for the locust control operations. Of which 9.7 billion rupees will be given by the federal government whilst the remaining amount will be contributed by the provinces.

The Minister said currently ten to eleven aircraft have been mobilized for the aerial sprays in the districts affected by the crop munching pests. He said Pakistan Army has also provided five helicopters for the aerial sprays. 8000 personnel of Armed Forces are also participating in the ground operations. Overall 1125 teams are engaged in locust control operations across the country.

He said a massive anti-locust operation was carried out in thirty three districts of Balochistan last day.

Fakhar Imam said China has provided four point nine million dollars including chemicals and pesticides to eliminate these pests.

The Minister warned the crop devouring pests pose a major threat to the country. He said it is the first time in history that swarms entered into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from Afghanistan. He said there is also a threat of swarms from Iran in the next one to two weeks. He said we are preparing to deal with these invasions.

The National Assembly today passed a motion expressing gratitude to the President for his address to the joint sitting of the parliament last year.

Winding up discussion on the motion, Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said Prime Minister Imran Khan has given the directions to immediately formulate a law for prevention of conflict of interest.

He said credit goes to the PTI government for exposing the sugar mafia.

The Adviser assured that the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan International Airline and other institutions will be completed in the most transparent manner and as per the law. He said resources generated will be spent on the welfare of the people.

Babar Awan said there should not be any politics on the issue of COVID-19.

The house will now meet tomorrow at four pm.