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Punjab govt mulls over declaring use of mask mandatory: minister

National

June 2, 2020

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal said that the Punjab government was considering declaring the use of masks mandatory across the province and for this provision of masks at reasonable rates will have to be ensured everywhere.

In a meeting with the industrialists, manufacturers and representatives of pharmacies here on Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) office on Monday, he said that manufactures were preparing masks at local level and government will extend all possible cooperation in order to improve their production capacity to prepare masks at locally.

The meeting was attended by Additional Secretary Industries and Trade Ashar Zaidi, officers of the department concerned, businessmen Sheraz Khan Niazi, Waris, Waleed Cheema and Zafar Iqbal Khokhar.

The minister discussed matters pertaining to scope of preparing protective masks at local level, their prices, provision of raw material, import of machinery and other matters. Aslam Iqbal said the spread of coronavirus can be curbed by adopting precautionary measures. He urged the masses to save themselves, their children, family members and friends by adopting precautionary measures.

He assured the businessmen that he would talk with the federal government with regard to import of duty-free machinery for the purpose of preparing masks and fabrics. He underscored that it was a noble deed to save the lives of the masses and provide due facilitation in adopting precautionary measures. He requested the manufacturers to prepare masks to the maximum quantity and also ensure their availability in the markets at affordable rates. He maintained that the future line of action will be framed in consultation with the manufacturers.

On this occasion, the manufacturers apprised the minister of problems relating to their capacity to prepare the masks in bulk capacity. The delegation members demanded that the government should grant them permission relating to availability of raw material and importing duty-free machinery for preparing masks. They apprised the minister of their capability and capacity to prepare masks on emergency basis.