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Monday Mar 23 2020
Web Desk

Traders ask government for help in ensuring wages for labourers as coronavirus crisis escalates

Web Desk
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday chaired an important meeting of top officials of the government and key business leaders across the country. 

According to Geo News, prominent traders, representatives of the stock exchange, and top exporters took part in the meeting. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail joined via video link. 

In the meeting, the traders expressed their reservations and fears over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, and the effects the spread of the disease could have on businesses across the country. 

Also read: Coronavirus: What does a lock-down in Sindh mean? Saeed Ghani explains

"Labourers and daily wage earners could face difficulties over the next three months," the traders told Shaikh. "The government should help traders in ensuring wages to labourers," the traders said.

'Government faced with difficult situation'

Responding to the issues raised by the business community, Shaikh said that the government was faced with a difficult situation. 

"The government is committed to helping the business community and the people of Pakistan," Shaikh said at the meeting. "Please have faith, the government will ensure your protection," he told traders. 

Also read: The first 3D-printed ventilator prototype in Pakistan could be ready within two weeks

The adviser underlined that containing the spread of the coronavirus was the utmost priority for the government at the moment. "The provision of basic necessities to the common man at a reasonable rate is also a priority of the government," he added. 

"However, protecting business activities in the country is also a top priority of the government," he assured traders. 

According to the Secretary Finance, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan had sent directions to stockbrokers asking them to continue trading as usual. 

Also read: Pakistan cannot afford to impose a total lockdown: PM Imran

"The directions have been sent to the home ministry of Sindh," the Secretary Finance said at the meeting. "The food industry will also ensure the preparation and supply of essentials in the country," the official added. 

The Secretary Finance further said that the government was in constant contact with provincial authorities and was assisting them in every possible way.