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April 1, 2020

To streamline transportation of food items: Framework with NCOP Centre finalized, says Razak Dawood

National

April 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government has finalised the framework with the National Control and Operation Centre (NCOP) to iron out problems on daily basis by streamlining the goods transportation process of essential industries among the federating units, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and AJK.

Some cabinet ministers and officials of NDMA, representatives of armed forces, Rangers and representatives of civil administration will meet at NCOP on daily basis to resolve the issues. And more importantly, the ministry of commerce and industries & production has made five categories of industrial sectors, which include 1- food industry and supplies, 2-pharmaceutical industry and supplies, 3-energy sector that includes power houses, refineries, E&P companies and oil marketing companies (OMCs), 4-export industry, and 5-domestic trade. The government will have to ensure facilitation of goods to the said industries.

In an exclusive talk with The News here on Tuesday evening, the Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, said, “I have held meetings with business communities from Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, and Sialkot and representatives of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers and listened to their issues which I will take up in the NCOP meeting today (Wednesday)."

The adviser said the government wanted to streamline the transportation of food items, especially for perishable items in the wake of lockdown across the country and it would be ironed out in today's meeting. He said the presence of workforce for the pharmaceutical industry would also be ensured to maintain production.

Razak Dawood said likewise the commutation of top-to-bottom level officials and workforce of essential industries such as energy sector would be ensured.

Talking about the domestic trade, Dawood said the local industries which have labourers in their colonies could start their production activities and industries like cement that had its own workforce could also begin production activities. He said the export industry could initiate activities to fulfill the requirement of their orders.

Replying to a question, the adviser said the commerce ministry was receiving many proposals from industries seeking six-month suspension of interest cost on loans and working capital, and one-year deferment of installments of loans to keep their industry afloat, saying the decision on the proposals has not yet been taken but was under active consideration. He said at the moment he was trying to assure payments of refunds to the export sector so that they could pay their workers' salaries.