Imran Khan speaks to the organisers of the coronavirus relief fund in Islamabad.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched a web portal for the second phase of Ehsaas cash programme to help those who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said those who were deprived of their jobs by the lockdown should visit the website and register themselves. He said those who want to get themselves registered will have to provide evidence of the organisation they were enlisted to work before losing jobs.
Imran said Pakistan could not sustain a prolonged lockdown, as labourers and daily wagers are suffering. He said no one knew how long the virus will last. "The entire world is trying to restart its economy. The biggest issue is of livelihood, as the lockdown has massively impacted the economy and people.”
The premier said the more the industries function, they would generate more livelihood opportunities. Places like New York where thousands are dying have also decided to reopen their industries,” he said.
"Even rich governments are reopening because they realize they cannot keep the country under lockdown for long. This is why we have decided to open up our construction industry. Never in the history of this country have we given such huge incentives to the construction industry as we have done now.”
Imran said the main aim of his government was to ensure the people were not burdened. The government, he noted, did not try to earn more revenue when oil prices had plunged instead it tried its best to pass minimum burden to the people. He said since the price of petrol was slashed, prices of everything should fall as well.
"People can register on the website where their credentials will be checked,” he said and added they could register themselves on the ehsaaslabour.nadra.gov.pk to get assistance of Rs12,000. He asked the volunteers and the Corona Tiger Force to help them get registered on the website.
The prime minister thanked everyone who had donated to the Corona Relief Fund, saying he himself was monitoring the Fund and its resources. "I want to thank all those who have donated to the Fund. All the money will be audited and everything will be told to the nation,” the prime minister said.
In this regard, Imran referred to the transparent way funds were collected and used with regard to the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and NAMAL University. He said if someone would contribute a single rupee, the government would donate Rs4 to reach out to maximum number of people, affected by the lockdown.
"We have brought a transparent system. Through this Fund, we are trying to reach as many people as possible. It is unfortunate to say but it is impossible for the governments of any country to reach out to all the people in need of help. The public needs to work with the government to combat the virus. They [public] need to take precautionary measures. If I had tested positive, it would have been my responsibility to make sure I self-isolate and quarantine myself. The public needs to play its part in this fight against coronavirus.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that as a gesture of solidarity with the people of India, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, PPEs and related items.
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