Published Date: Mar 21, 2020
SDPI Online Roundtable ‘Combating COVID 19: Policy Options for Pakistan’
An online roundtable titled, ‘Combating COVID 19: Policy Options for Pakistan’, was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute on 19th March 2020. Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza participated in the roundtable on special invitation. Following is the summary of the roundtable.
Policy Options for Pakistan
- It is difficult to manage economy and corona simultaneously. People should be put over economy in these testing times.
- The budget strategy document for 2020-21 is prepared in pre-COVID 19 context and has turned irrelevant. The National Economic Council should look into revising estimates for forthcoming budget.
- An urgent meeting of Council of Common Interest is needed to show uniformity and solidarity among provinces.
- NDMA, IPC and health ministry must prepare a combined strategy to save the lives of people.
- There is a need to divert unutilized funds and allocations from different institutions like BISP, Workers Welfare Fund, PSDP, Baitul Maal, etc. to finance and implement the response strategy.
- A coherent communication strategy is required to communicate succinct messages among people reassuring them of steps taken by the government.
- Alongside big cities, remote areas should be given attention where there are no health facilities.
- To protect daily wagers, street vendors and the poor unemployed labors, make use of existing social safety nets and mobilize philanthropists. A relief in utility bills can be a useful instrument.
- The government should put in place mechanisms for unintruppted ad price control for the to control prices of food and basic tems.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Dr Sajid Amin, Dr Naveed Iftikhar, Mr Shahjahan Chaudhry, Mr Qasim Shah, Ms Ariba Shahid, Mr Saleem Khilji, Mr Moazzam Bhatti, Ms Maryam Shabbir, Ms Ayesha Qaisrani, Mr Mobeen Ali Khan