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March 26, 2020

QWP terms financial package insufficient Suggests utility bills waiver

Peshawar

March 26, 2020

PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) provincial Chairman Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction at the financial package announced by the federal government to cope with the challenge posed by the novel coronavirus and said it should have taken more steps to give maximum relief to the poverty-stricken people.

In a statement released from Watan Kor, he said that the QWP did not want to politicize this issue and the suggestions were meant to help mitigate the sufferings of the common people.

However, he said the government should have brought down the prices of the petroleum projects to Rs60 per litre to provide relief to the people. “This is not enough keeping in view the magnitude of this issue,” he remarked.

“The government should have taken the opposition parties into confidence before unveiling the financial package,” he said, adding that the announcement of Rs3,000 monthly to the poor families was even lower than the minimum wage i.e. Rs17,500 fixed by the government.

The QWP leader said the government should have waived off the utility bills as making the people pay the gas and electricity bills in installments would ultimately add up to their financial burden. Sikandar Sherpao added the government should check hoarding and profiteering as the prices of the daily use items had started going up due to the lockdown.

“On the one hand, the daily wagers and the labourers cannot find work due to the lockdown, but on the other prices of the essential commodities, including ghee, flour and sugar, had registered a sharp increase,” he said, urging the authorities to look into the matter and take action against those who were taking undue advantage of this situation.

Keeping in view the rising number of the coronavirus cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sikandar Sherpao said the government should provide protective gears to the medical staff and doctors besides taking steps to establish laboratories at least at the divisional level to conduct the tests of the suspected patients.

“The far-flung areas, particularly the tribal districts, lack even the basic health infrastructure, therefore, steps are needed on an urgent basis to protect the residents of those areas,” he maintained.

He said that as per the World Health Organization’s guidelines only lockdown was not the solution to contain the coronavirus rather effective testing and screening mechanism should be put in place to detect and quarantine the patients carrying the virus.

The QWP chief underlined the need for launching an effective campaign to create awareness among the families of the people infected with coronavirus so that they could avoid catching the disease.