Experts Call For Spending Different Funds To Tackle Coronavirus

Experts call for spending different funds to tackle Coronavirus

Experts at a virtual roundtable called upon the government to extract funds from different institutions such as Workers Welfare Fund, Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), and Baitul Maal to save the lives of people from Coronavirus outbreak in the country

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Mar, 2020 ) :Experts at a virtual roundtable called upon the government to extract funds from different institutions such as Workers Welfare Fund, Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), and Baitul Maal to save the lives of people from Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The virtual roundtable titled "Responses to Coronavirus Pandemic in Pakistan" was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Friday.

Experts on economy, communication and social development presented their policy input in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak in the country to the Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza who also participated in the discussion.

Speaking on the occasion, SDPI Executive Director, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri identified three major issues that how IPC and Council of Common Interest could be made more effective, how the health distribution system could be made more active and how the social safety nets (except Ehsaas or BISP) could be made useful to save the lives of people in the days to come.

He said liquidity injection is needed for two groups; those which fall in poverty band and those small firms which have to pay their bills and salaries.

He stressed the need to review how much prepared and ready is our health sector. Do we have sufficient ventilators and technical skills required to operate these ventilators even if we order for purchase from international market? Economic Expert, Dr Naveed Iftikhar said containment should be the top priority and we need to develop suggestions in phases.

He said recovery phase is important which is social and economic. He said more important is that how we can protect our daily wagers, street vendors and the poor unemployed labour.

SDPI Joint Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed stressed the need to learn lessons from Wuhan like complete lockdown of the city and these lessons should be applied in the worst scenario. He said we are not sure about the number of Corona victims, however, it will increase in future and in current situation our first line of defense should be local philanthropy.

Director, National Incubation Centre, Karachi, Shahjahan Chaudhry said international projects are being unfolded due to Coronavirus, and payments are slow which would ultimately affect salaried class and bills. After 3 to 6 months, small businesses would have been more impacted, he said.

Concluding the session, Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza stressed the need for cooperative federalism.

She said the country is already under socio-economic stress like poverty, unemployment, unhygienic conditions, drinking water shortages, so ultimately the people will be the sufferers. She said cooperative federalism is necessary at this moment, but unfortunately local governments are missing and we lack effective ways to access the poor and vulnerable communities. She said she would present the findings and policy recommendations of today's virtual roundtable in the Cabinet meeting.