ISLAMABAD         -              Pakistan People’s Party yesterday has criticised the Federal government’s strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement President PPP Sindh Nisar Khuhro and Taj Haider Member, PPP Core Committee expressed serious reservations on the continuation of payment of Benazir Income Support Programme - funds (under the name of Ehsas- through only two private sector banks, a discriminatory and faulty method,  which had multiplied the number of Corona cases in the country many times over. 

“Not satisfied with facilitating the spread of corona virus through allowing unchecked entries of passengers at airports and the mess up at the Taftan border, the Federal Government has delivered the final blow with limiting of the distribution of billions in public funds to the two favored private sector banks,” said the statement.

It added: “The increase in the number of locally transmitted cases and the deaths, the reporting of cases from small towns and rural areas during the last few days clearly show that the situation is getting out of hand. There must also be thousands of unreported cases in the country that are spreading the disease unchecked at this time.”

The two PPP leaders questioned the exclusion of other banks specially the public sector banks from the distribution process.

“What was the criteria of selection of banks? There are also more than 500,000 branchless cash transfer points situated all over the country. Waiver of Government taxes, minimizing the commissions of the mobile companies and the agents could have greatly reduced the cash transmission costs. Inclusion of all banks and branchless outlets in cash distribution would have ensured no crowding at distribution points and no spread of corona virus.,” the statement said.

The statement added: “The apathy and the callousness of the Federal Government towards the corona virus pandemic are shocking to say the least. This attitude and the continuous propaganda minimizing the scale of the crisis that has befallen the people of the country is practically sabotaging the lockdown and the social distancing efforts of the provincial governments.”

They said the “ridiculous and inhuman response of the Federal Government to the serious concerns raised by esteemed health sector professionals is highly condemnable.”