By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government is carefully trying to keep a balance between protecting the health of its citizens and the economy by opening only essential services and the sectors of the economy such as logistics, retail of essential items and construction where safely possible.
â€œWe are also trying to get in the hands of the citizens businesses and the as much liquidity as possible through direct cash transfers payment of tax refunds, subsidized credits and payroll loans and to ensure that the recovery path once the pandemic is over, is not affected,â€ he said while talking to Ms Anne Marie Trevelyan, MP and Secretary of State DFID, during a video conversation here Wednesday.
The Adviser lauded the support of DFID in various social sectors, particularly healthcare and education sectors in Pakistan and asked the DFID leadership to extend technical support to Pakistan to combat the threat of swarm locust to standing crops and vegetation in Pakistan.
He also appreciated the role and support of the British government in the G-20 initiative for loan deferment to poor countries in the wake of COVID-19 crisis and hoped the British government would use its influence at other similar forums for debt relief and debt deferment to the countries trying to fight the effects and devastation caused by the coronavirus.
Ms Anne Marie Trevelyan shared with Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh important updates on various aspects of the British government strategy to deal with the threat and aftermath of the COVID-19. She said the British government valued its relationship with Pakistan and considered the DFID support to uplift of social sector in Pakistan as a sign of its long-term commitment to the country and its people.