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April 1, 2020

Govt trying to reschedule loans from IMF, WB, ADB: FM

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April 1, 2020

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said the government is trying to get loans rescheduled from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to deal with the coronavirus pandemic effectively.

"The rescheduled amounts will be spent on health issues emerged from coronavirus," he expressed these views in a meeting at the Circuit House, here. The foreign minister observed that the government is carefully monitoring coronavirus trends at the international level. The government has constituted two sub-committees, he said and added: "I am leading one sub-committee which is working on maintaining and promoting contacts at the international level to deal with coronavirus-related issues." The other committee headed by Asad Umar is focusing on the lockdown situation and supply of food chain in the country, he said.

He said the government is in contact with European Union, G-77 and G-20 countries, adding that the government is also contacting Pakistanis abroad. To a question, he observed that Pakistan is playing its role in lifting of international restrictions on Iran. Iran could not purchase even ventilators despite it has money to buy them, he added.

Qureshi stated that immense preparation is required for complete lockdown in the country. In China, about 60 million people underwent a complete lockdown in the Wuhan province, he said, adding that during this period, they (Chinese) mobilised over 45,000 workers for online supply of food items at people’s houses. He pointed out that the government had to distribute meal at doorsteps of the masses during a complete lockdown in the country.

About Tiger Force, he observed, the first meeting regarding Corona Relief Tiger Force would be held in Multan. Proper coordination could guarantee success behind constitution of the Tiger Force, he added. He said every union council is comprised of six wards and the Tiger Force would be made in every ward. The youngsters of the Tiger Force would register names of labourers, ID card numbers, phone numbers and addresses, he added.

He urged local parliamentarians and district administration to extend maximum cooperation for the success of the revolutionary programmeof Prime Minister Imran Khan, which aims at maximum help to the poor.

Qureshi said the government gave a relief package of Rs 1,200 billion, which was historic and the best in recent critical scenario. The government is aware of wheat season, he said, adding that it would surely facilitate wheat reaping and other operations including wheat procurement. The foreign minister stated that the pandemic could be dealt effectively.