Published On: Wed, Mar 25th, 2020
Published in Category: Government

Govt should reduce interest rates & prices of petroleum products amid Coronavirus crisis: Shehbaz

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Says delayed lockdown by govt deteriorated situation further

LAHORE: President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has urged federal government to provide relief to people.

While addressing nation via video conference in Lahore on Tuesday, Shehbaz Sharif said that government should reduce interest rates and prices of petroleum products amid Coronavirus crisis.

“I have few suggestions for government in these testing times. I think government should reduce interest rates by 3 to 4 percent. They can save Rs. 80 billion by reducing interest rate. Prices of petroleum products should also be reduced by at least Rs. 70. Those who have utility bills less than 5 thousand should be given relief,” he said. He said that the labourers who have come to big cities for earning livelihood, the government should give them Rs 3000 per month assistance through Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) till the coronavirus outbreak is overcome in country.

Shehbaz Sharif also announced that his party would provide ten thousand protective kits to doctors fighting Coronavirus.

“We want to facilitate government in every regard. I believe that all political parties should put politics aside and work for public welfare. We are fighting Coronavirus despite all challenges. I was asked by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to return back to Pakistan in view of rising cases of Coronavirus in the country,” he said.

He also urged government to provide free Coronavirus testing service in order to facilitate people. “People everywhere are suffering due to Coronavirus. I urge our rich community to help less privileged people in these testing times. I also urge you all to help those who need Coronavirus testing but cannot afford it,” he said.

The opposition leader said that delayed lockdown by government deteriorated the situation further. He added that if federal government had ensured proper arrangements at the Pakistan-Iran border in Taftan, the Coronavirus outbreak would never have accelerated to this degree.

“Government should negligence at Tafton border which resulted in spike in Coronavirus cases in Pakistan. Had government made separate quarantine centers, situation would not have deteriorated. I also request government to utilize cruise ships and import ventilators and other necessary equipment on urgent basis,” he said. He further stated that Coronavirus has destroyed economies everywhere.

Shehbaz Sharif appealed the nation to act on the directives issued by the government in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. The Opposition Leader in National Assembly said that Pakistan is facing the biggest challenge of coronavirus but we have to fight it by keeping themselves clean. We should avoid doing politics on the current scenario and also refrain from using such words which can divide the nation, he requested.

While putting forward demands in the wake of prevailing situation, Shehbaz Sharif has requested the government to provide 10,000 safety kits to the doctors and make coronavirus tests free of cost for the common men. Nawaz Sharif has extended prayers to the nation, he told.

The PML-N president has hoped that the government will take timely steps to contain the virus. We have to fight this disease and deteriorating economy at the same time, he stated. Shehbaz Sharif said this was not the time to do politics and the entire nation needed to come together to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The PML-N president said we stood with the families of those who passed away from the disease. “Today the number of cases in the country stands at 892 and a positive case of the virus was also reported in a Lahore prison,” he said.

The PML-N president said this is not the time to do politics. “We need to come together at this time and play our part in combating the virus. The political leadership had called for a lockdown but it did not happen.” “It is good to see the provinces taking action and enforcing the lockdown. Punjab government did the right thing,” he noted.

“Time demands that we turn this challenge into an opportunity and face this crisis jointly,” he remarked. “I believe we will come out of this challenge,” Shehbaz added.

“We need to move forward and solve this issue. There is no cure for this disease yet, which is why we should take precautions and be responsible. I urge the citizens to cooperate with the government,” he added. “I believe we will come out of this challenge,” Shehbaz added.

He added that everyone should follow the guidelines given to them. “I have asked my party workers to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies during this time,” he added.

The former Punjab chief minister urged the prime minister to summon a session of Council of Common Interests to address the issue.

The opposition leader in the National Assembly also lauded the role played by the media in leading the information campaign.

“The government right now should make a big campaign and launch it with the help of the media,” he suggested.

Rounding off his presser the PML-N leader said that the nation had overcome many challenges before and would do so again this time.

“In the past, we had bigger challenges like earthquakes and now we will get out of this pandemic. In this difficult time, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and will work with them,” he added.