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April 6, 2020

Prolonged lockdown: Call to simplify procedure to help the needy

National

April 6, 2020

PESHAWAR: Terming the announcements about the provision of the relief package by the federal and provincial governments a complicated and lengthy procedure, the daily wagers, salesmen, small traders and private security guards feared that the prolonged lockdown would add to their woes.

In separate chats with The News, they asked the government to simplify the procedure and take practical steps to mitigate their sufferings. They complained that politicians showed up during the election campaigns but after getting elected they were nowhere to be seen. “We have been hearing announcements after the lockdown but the complicated registration procedure has disappointed us,” a daily wager said. Our children, who filled out online forms, were asked to get themselves registered with their respective districts, but the problems is that we have moved to Peshawar from Mardan, said a daily wager sitting at the Fawwara Chowk at the Peshawar cantonment.

Sher Alam, a mason by profession, said some shopkeepers had started hoarding after coming to know that the lockdown could be extended. He asked the government to take action against them. One Rahim and Jehanzeb said they were working as private security company and got Rs9,000 monthly, but now they were asked to quit.

They also complained that the government was announcing relief packages and facilities for all, including industrialists and daily wagers, but it had ignored them. The small shopkeepers also expressed similar views, saying they could not afford to close down shops because the government has not written off electricity and gas bills. “We have to pay the rent and the school fee of our children,” said a shopkeeper. A retired woman teacher in Mansehra told this scribe on phone that they had registered the names of the widows and the poor women, but they did know when they would get the relief package.

One Abdul Qayyum said the poor people were faced with a host of problems so the government should extend financial help to them as soon as possible. He said the coronavirus led to lockdown and businesses closed down, which deprived the poor people of the chances to eke out a decent living. He asked the well-off people to help the have-nots at this difficult juncture.

He expressed the hope the government would also provide relief to the people and try to overcome the difficulties faced by the people and to defeat the coronavirus.