Partial lifting of lockdown, promised on humanitarian grounds: Asad Umar

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ISLAMABAD, May 7 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Thursday said the government had decided to lift the lockdown for selected sectors after
evolving a consensus on the issue, which was purely based on humanitarian grounds.

The initiative was taken after thorough consultation with all stakeholders including provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, he said while addressing a press briefing, following the meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC) on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Asad Umar said the decision of lifting lockdown was taken, keeping in view
the negative and adverse impact of lockdown on public life. “The people are unable
to earn their livelihood due to lockdwon and they are becoming mentally paralyzed
as they badly need money for food, health, education and other daily-life necessities”,
he added.
Responding to point of view some people that the government had only two options either to save human lives or to save economy, the minister termed it a debate sans any purpose, saying that opening some sectors with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) could help prevent spread of corona virus.
He said today’s decision was presented before the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) after a week-long preparation and consultation.
Asad Umar said the Prime Minister had the option to impose the decisions of federal government without consulting the provinces under his constitutional power. The PM
opted to go for consultation with the provinces to make sure that this sensitive issue
was managed properly, he added.

Further, steel and aluminum manufacturing units and all relevant shops
had also been allowed to open their production and business, he added.
Umar said the meeting also decided that educational institutions
would remain closed till July 15.

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