On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan introduced a financial stimulus package in a press conference to combat COVID-19. He announced the strategy devised by the government to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the most vulnerable segment of the society.
The press conference came as a relief to many while leaving out several gaps in the strategy formulated by the government to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Let’s have a look at 12 high points from PM Imran Khan’s press conference!
1. A sum of Rs. 200 billion to be allotted for labourers across the country.
2. He also mentioned that the federal government is having talks with businesses across the provinces to not lay off their employees.
3. The export industry to be given tax refunds of Rs. 100 billion immediately.
4. Rs. 100 billion would be devoted to small and medium enterprises.
5. A package worth Rs. 150 billion allocated for low income families for a period of four months. They’ll also be given cash payments of Rs. 3000.
6. PM announced that the capacity of shelter homes will be expanded to accommodate maximum number of people.
7. The premier announced Rs. 50 billion for utility stores. An additional Rs. 280 billion announced for wheat procurement to ease cash flow and ensure constant availability of food.
8. Imran Khan announced the reduction of 15 rupees in he prices of petroleum, diesel, light diesel and kerosene.
9. For the next three months, people utilising 300 units of electricity can pay their bills in installments.
10. To provide the health workers with the personal protective equipment, a sum of Rs. 50 billion is being allocated.
11. Tax on food items including sugar, wheat, pulses would be removed or reduced.
12. A sum of Rs. 100 billion is being set aside in case of emergencies.
Now, let’s take a look at 7 lows from Imran Khan’s press conference!
1. Throughout the press conference, the PM was persistent that the media should not compare Pakistan with other countries. But he himself continued to do so.
It is completely understandable that the resources that Pakistan has are limited. However, in this pandemic we can only learn from the experience of others rather than messing up the whole situation by experimenting.
2. He acknowledged the uncertainty amongst the public regarding the whole lockdown situation. Yet, he failed to clear the ambiguity.
3. Instead of coming up with a concrete strategy concerning the mobility of citizens he just left the blank empty.
4. While talking about shutting down the transport in the country, he said it’d affect the supply chain. Rather he should’ve come up with a solution to the problem.
There is a high risk of the rapid spread, if the transport continues as normal. The government should only allow the selected group of suppliers to fulfil the need. Also, their movement should be regulated to avoid the risk of increasing the coronavirus suspects.
5. The way he retorted back to Irshad Bhatti for unrelated questions was unbefitting.
6. The tone he used to answer Rauf Klasra’s question concerning media coverage of the outbreak was borderline threatening.
7. While the premier admitted that it is an evolving situation and could be prolonged, he failed to provide a long-term plan to tackle the situation.
What are your thoughts on this press conference by Imran Khan to tackle COVID-19? Share your thoughts in the comments below!