Islamabad, 13 May 2020: Chairman Pakistan peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that he had in his first press conference about Covid-19 pandemic had said that we will have to fight on two fronts. One we have to fight this Covid-19 and other is to stabilise the economy which was already sagging at that time.
Chairman PPP was talking to a media outlet at the parliament house on Wednesday. He said tat these are not normal times. The responsibility of the government is to fight this pandemic as well as assure economic stability. Chairman PPP said that the package announced by the government is nothing but gimmickry. Government announced12 billion package but when you go into details shows that all that amount was already budgeted. They used BISP budget in the name of Ehsas programme. Tax refund to the business community is also made a part of this package which was already due. Wheat procurement has also been made a part of this package. Thus poor and daily wages have received any relief.
Chairman PPP said that the government did not announce any relief for the medical workers who are fighting on the front line. Pakistan should also use some percent of GDP for relief like all other countries in the world. We should use maximum for our front line soldiers. We should protect our medical workers. Instead Pakistan became the first state that decided that people’s health and life is not its priority.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari suggested the government to turn its budget into Covid-19 budget. We have to focus on agriculture sector because food security is an issue now for the entire world. This government had said after Covid-19 that it will announce an agriculture package but still no sign of it. After 25 years locust is threatening us and plant protection is federal subject but the government is not ready to deal with it. Sindh chief minister is in contact with federal government for nearly a year but nothing is done yet. Balochistan government and its people are waiting for help against locust. President Zardari talked about it in the parliament last year. We held several press conference on the issue and just yesterday I addressed a press conference on locust threat and today Raja Pervaiz Ashraf spoke about it in the national assembly but government has not responded yet. Even United Nations has issued a warning about locust. The government has to provide relief to the agriculture sector to assure food security.
Chairman PPP said that the government cannot absolve itself from its responsibilities just by giving money through BISP. It has to provide relief to our daily wage workers, small traders, white collar employees, small shopkeepers etc. IMF, ADB, World Bank, G-20 countries gave relief to the government and the fall in petroleum prices has given the government fiscal space to give relief to the people of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that Sindh government corona ordinance is not signed yet through which we want to provide relief to the people. This ordinance should be implemented in other provinces as well.