PESHAWAR - In a bid to overcome socio-economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Thursday formally launched a three-year economic recovery plan “Azm-e-Nau” (The Spirit of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).

The plan will be implemented with the cost of Rs.29 billion through 43 interven­tions in 9 key development sectors which include economic growth, education, emer­gency response, health, organizing geo­graphically spread and reachable jobs for development, public works, small & medi­um enterprises and social protection. The Chief Minister termed this economic recov­ery plan a continuation of the efforts to sta­bilize the economy affected by COVID-19 outbreak and said he would himself moni­tor implementation of the plan.

A ceremony in this regard having limit­ed number of participants due to COVID-19 precautionary measures was held at Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar and was at­tended by Minister for Finance Taimur Jha­gra, Special Assistant to CM on Information Kamran Bangash, Special Assistant to CM on PHE Riaz Khan, Additional Chief Secre­tary Shakeel Qadir, administrative secretar­ies of concerned departments and high ups of the planning & development department.

Representatives from international devel­opment partners also participated through video link. The participants were briefed about the impacts of COVID-19 on econo­my in South Asia, anticipated impacts on vul­nerable employments, objectives and salient features of the plan “Azm-e-Nau”, augment­ed implementation mechanism, roles and responsibilities for the plan and other relat­ed matters. It was informed that apart from dealing with short-term aspects of crisis management, “Azm-e-Nau” economic recov­ery plan had been prepared to avert econom­ic fallout caused by the Corona pandemic through implementation of public sector in­terventions in expeditious manners.

In his closing remarks, the Chief Minister said that provincial government had taken unprecedented steps to contain spread of COVID-19 as well as to address issues being faced by the people.

“Launch of Azm-e-Nau plan is also a con­tinuation of these efforts and that will prove to be a milestone in strengthening of healthcare system, compensating the eco­nomic losses incurred during the prevail­ing situation of coronavirus and to mitigate overall adverse effects of pandemic on pro­vincial economy, reinforce stimuli and short to medium term liquidity for the revival of businesses grappling with the supply side shock,” he added.

Mahmood Khan lauded the efforts of his team at planning & development depart­ment for the preparation of comprehen­sive economic recovery plan in such a short time frame and said through joint efforts we would be able to put the economy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa back on track.