Coronavirus precautions are necessary but overreaction is needless. Millions of poor at the mercy of hunger amid lockdown. Harsh action against industrialists was unfair.

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(April 08, 2020)

FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel SVP, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan is among few lucky countries where coronavirus has not inflicted major harm to people. Precautions are necessary in the current situation but overreaction is unwarranted as it is complicating matters, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that government has not started helping the poor in a proper manner which has left many vulnerable to hunger.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that poor are facing the double whammy of hunger and lockdown and they are pushing their employers to resume business activities.

The former minister noted that in such a situation those reopening their businesses for some time should not be dealt with an iron hand as foreign buyers are also pressing local export industry to honour commitments.

He said that following the pandemic almost 2.7 billion dollars have been repatriated from the country, the exchange rate is sliding, confidence of investors is at lowest ebb and power consumption has dwindled by 30 percent creating problems for the energy sector.

An exodus of foreign exchange has brought forex earning sector to the limelight, therefore this sector should be spared to some extent, he demanded.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that police have raided two textile mills, registered cases, insulted and arrested owners and management while the matter could have been resolved through negotiations.

He said that sealed industrial units should be reopened, and cases should be quashed as thousands of people are employed in these facilities.

The Chief Minister has worked very well during the crisis and he should immediately hold a meeting with industrialists to resolve matters with mutual agreement, he said.

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