Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday held a consultative session with some of the key members of his cabinet and decided to tighten the lockdown regime in the province to prevent local transmission of coronavirus.
Chairing the meeting, he expressed his deep resentment at the way people were coming onto roads and crowding outside grocery and food shops in Karachi, saying that the situation was highly undesirable in the present emergency, according to sources privy to the meeting.
He asked the law-enforcement agencies to ensure complete observance of the lockdown orders of the provincial government. The chief minister reportedly said on the occasion that he wanted enforcement of the lockdown orders once more stringently as had been done in the initial seven days of the lockdown regime in Sindh.
He said that nobody would be allowed to leave their home without any valid urgency or necessity. He said that statistics of the local spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country had become highly alarming. He CM once more appealed to the masses to stay indoors to prevent further spread of the viral disease. He said that the government had to act very fast before it was too late.
Meanwhile, the provincial government could exercise the option of promulgating an ordinance to extend due relief to people from different walks of life in a lawful manner during the COVID-19 emergency.
The proposed ordinance would contain due concessions in the payment of different provincial taxes by traders and businessmen who had been facing serious economic hardships due to the lockdown regime, as the revival and continuity of the business and industrial activities had become a serious challenge.
These concessions will relate to the levy of the professional tax and other provincial taxes received by the Sindh Revenue Board from the traders and businessmen. Rs500m given to DCs The Sindh government has given Rs500 million to all deputy commissioners who will distribute rations among underprivileged families and daily-wage earners amid the coronavirus crisis.
Officials said the funds were released to 29 DCs, including the DCs of Korangi, East, West, South, Central and Malir in Karachi, while also in rest of the province, including Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur Mirs, Shaheed Benazirabad, Naushehro Feroze, Sanghar, Hyderabad, Matiari, Tando Muhammad Khan, Jamshoro and Thatta.
A letter was issued by the Sindh government to all 29 DCs in this regard. It said the funds being released under the “Head of Account Services General Administration & Coordination Department, District Administration and Unforeseen Expenditure for preparedness of disaster and relief”. It said the provincial government had accorded the permission for the drawl of the funds “on abstract bill for distribution of ration to poor/daily wage earners who are economically affected by the spread of corona virus”.