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August 4, 2020

‘Private sector must supplement govt efforts to make country polio free by 2030’


August 4, 2020

FAISALABAD: The private sector must supplement efforts of the government to make Pakistan polio free by 2030, said Dr Mughees Athar, the focal person for hepatitis and endoscopy project of the Punjab government.

Addressing a conference held in connection with the World Hepatitis Day at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here, he said that hepatitis had been identified into different categories, but the most dangerous was hepatitis C.

He said that about 12 million people in the Punjab were infected with hepatitis and 240,000 patients were added every year. He told that out of it, 60 to 70 per cent patients belonged to the Punjab.

Quoting a recent survey, he said that during December 2019 approximately 1 million tests were conducted out of which 300,000 were identified as hepatitis carriers and were being treated by the government. He further said that hepatitis was more lethal than corona.

He said that hepatitis A was spread through water and food, but other categories were caused by using infested syringes, scissors or blades. He said that tablets and injections were available for the treatment of hepatitis, but most of the poor were unable to bear heavy treatment expenses. Hence, we must focus on precautionary and protective measures, he added. Dr Mughees appreciated the efforts of the FCCI Standing Committee on Health for creating awareness among the masses and hoped that it would continue its efforts to contain the fatal disease. He further said that one hundred people were offered free screening tests of hepatitis while medicines would also be provided to the hard pressed patients by the Punjab government.

Dr Banesh Khan urged the people to avoid reuse of used syringes, blades and scissors. She appreciated the efforts of the government and also responded to the questions asked by participants of the conference. She clarified that hepatitis C patients needed protein and meat and hence it should be an integral part of their food. FCCI general secretary Malik Abdul Qayyum Raza and others also spoke. Later, a rally was also taken out and it was led by Malik Abdul Qayyum.

PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: Private educational institutions are sharing the fundamental responsibility of the state by accommodating approximately half of the children of school going age for the last many decades, but the government has left them in a lurch during the current corona crisis, said Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) president Rana Sikandar Azam.

He was addressing a function of four different associations of private schools on the platform of Private schools Alliance which was also attended by the owners of approximately 100 schools operating in Faisalabad.

He said that most of the private schools were also members of the FCCI and hence we were bound to protect their legitimate interests in addition to raising their voice at all available forums.

He mentioned that the State Bank of Pakistan had announced a Refinance (Rozgar) Scheme to pay the salaries to their employees during the lockdown period. He said that the private schools should avail the scheme as the facility was available at subsidised rates. The FCCI president told that the SBP had established a help desk at the FCCI and any member could contact it in case of any problem.

Earlier, Sadaqat Lodhi, secretary Private Schools Alliance, said that the corona lockdown had bankrupted almost all schools while suspension of educational activities had put the future of students at stake. He said that prolonged closure of schools had rendered teachers and other staff jobless and even the owners were feeling difficulties to run their kitchen. He urged the government to open the schools without any further delay so that the students could resume their educational activities.

NOC for construction industry: The Punjab government has fixed time lines for issuing NOC and handling applications for approval relating to construction sector to promote the sector under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Presiding over a meeting to review the implementation of the government package for construction sector, Faisalabd Development Authority Director General Muhammad Suhail Khawaja said the construction sector package is a remarkable and exemplary step of the current government and said the Punjab government introduced e-governance system to facilitate the developers and builders and applications relating to the construction sector were being received at E-Khidmat Markaz for completing departmental proceedings within timelines under one roof.

He said 30 days had been fixed for deciding applications of proposed building maps and plans approval of residential and commercial buildings while same days would be given for issuing the building completion certificates. He maintained some 45 days had been fixed for deciding the applications of commercialisation of land approval while the applications of private housing schemes approval would have to dispose of within 60 to 75 days.

He said now the applicants would not visit to different offices for seeking approvals and NOCs and the departmental proceedings would be completed in weeks instead of years. He expressed hope that element of corruption would be eliminated by ensuring complete transparency through e-governance system.

He explained that the applicants could check the status of their applications through E Khidmat Portal and E Khidmat mobile App and help line 080009100 had also been provided for further information and guidance. The FDA DG asked the officers concerned to deliver best services to make this system a success.

He said special monitoring of the performance of staff will be ensured for disposing of the applications received through E Khidmat Markaz within given timelines. He vowed that all-out resources would be mobilised by the FDA for promoting and strengthening the construction sector in its domain. Additional Director General Amer Aziz and other officers also attended the meeting.