ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for a joint strategy to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and to soften impact of the virus especially on the labourers.
Addressing an online an online summit orgnaised by the International Labour Organisation on coronavirus, the prime minister said the labour class has been the most impacted due to the coronavirus and the lockdowns imposed around the world.
“This is what makes this summit so important,” PM Imran noted.
Speaking about the efforts done by his government to stem the spread of the virus and to make sure the labour force of the country does not go hungry, the prime minister said, “We decided that the government needed to transfer cash to the informal part of the labour. Those who were registered, we asked the employers to keep them employed. But the ones who were not, we helped them through Ehsaas programme.”
“Never in the country’s history was so much money transferred to so many people in a short time,” he remarked. “This saved us from some of the worst aspects of the crisis. Unlike in India, where they imposed a curfew which pushed people into deeper poverty.”
The prime minister continued, “No one is sure when the coronavirus will end. We are all praying a vaccine comes out for the virus soon, but, meanwhile, uncertainty prevails.”
“The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the most affected by the virus and these employ the most number of labourers, which is why we need to come up with the idea to solve their issues,” he said.
Speaking about the overseas labourers, the prime minister said a collective strategy is needed to tell other countries to be sympathetic to these labourers. “We need some joint strategy on how we can ‘soften the impact’ on labourers across the world,” he said.
“We would love to share ideas with the world; we would love to know what other countries are doing. Pakistan will keep other countries updated on the situation and how we intend to move forward,” he said. “The exchange of ideas will, I’m sure, help us to solve our problems.”