Sindh free to take decisions, shouldn’t blame failures on Centre: Shibli
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Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz said on Saturday the Sindh government was free to enforce or lift a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak in the province, but it was beyond understanding why it was blaming the federal government for its failures.
Talking to the media, Shibli said the Sindh government and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should not blame the federal government for their failures. He said they should focus on controlling the spread of coronavirus in Sindh instead of playing politics on the issue. He said that Bilawal and Sindh ministers were holding lengthy press conferences instead of doing some productive work.
He said that opposition parties should support Prime Minister Imran Khan in the war against coronavirus instead of playing politics on the issue. He said that representatives of the Sindh government were completely unaware of the financial assistance given to the provincial government by the federal government to control the spread of coronavirus.
The information minister said the federal government gave relief to 45,000 industrial and 717,000 commercial consumers in their electricity bills. He said that small businesses in Sindh were also given relief in payment of their electricity bills. He said that people of Sindh also benefitted from the discounts given by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) like people in other parts of the country.
Shibli said that State Bank of Pakistan’s deferred payment scheme would also apply to people of Sindh who have taken small loans from different banks. He said that a Rs1.2 billion stimulus package would be distributed to all the provinces including Sindh. He said that small business owners and traders had been given a package to help them pay salaries of their employees.
The minister said that Rs27 billion has been distributed to people in Sindh so far under the federal government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme. He said the federal government has given the Sindh government 504,447 facemasks, 290,986 surgical masks, 30,142 N-95 masks, 203,840 KN-95 masks and 148,334 personal protection kits. He said that 77,992 testing kits, 200 thermal guns and 25,000 VTM and PCR machines were among the equipment, which was given to the Sindh government to fight coronavirus.
Shibli said the Sindh government had also been given large quantities of hand sanitisers, handwash soaps, chemical sprays, biohazard bags, safety boxes and body bags. He said that Bilawal should not destroy the national unity and harmony just to keep himself alive in politics.