January 05; Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has shared comprehensive policies on the availability and use of coronavirus vaccination and management of impact of COVID-19 on education and economy.
Syed Naveed Qamar, MNA, and member Central Executive Committee of the party shared the policies in a press talk after a working session of the policy wing of the party held in collaboration with PILDAT.
The policy of PPP on vaccination says that Anti-COVID-19 vaccine should be acquired by the government from various sources around the world, including both donations and outright purchases. It further says that vaccines should be administered universally and free-of-cost by turning the previously designated quarantine centres into inoculation centres, and special task forces should be created at federal, provincial and district levels to ensure that the inoculation work is implemented efficiently and transparently. The government should plan and prepare a priority list of who will be administered anti-COVID-19 vaccination first. Licenses should be given out to pharmaceutical companies, individually or collectively, for manufacturing of the vaccine in Pakistan, it says.
The party’s policy on education says that schools should be opened. In addition, online schooling systems should be fortified and teacher training should be encouraged to adapt to the new reality. Connectivity and internet access should be spread to all areas of the country in order to give equal opportunity to students and not further enhance the rich/poor and urban/rural divide. Universal Service Fund (USF) funds be used to rapidly roll out 4G access countrywide it says adding, effort should be made to keep educational institutions to be least effected by COVID-19 lockdowns. Special Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) to avoid overcrowding in schools, spreading out of classes throughout the day and use of outdoor classes be encouraged.
The party’s policy on economy states that poverty alleviation during COVID-19 should be made a priority. As the poverty levels have gone up due to COVID-19 and economic policy decisions of this government the scope of BISP should be doubled to include more people. The higher scorecard number be used as a benchmark so that more people are included. Ddisbursement methods of the funds should be improved by encouraging digital money transfers such that people can draw money at their own convenience and the risk of virus spread through crowd gatherings at banks is minimised, it states. As economies around the world start improving efforts should be made by the government to encourage overseas employment, particularly for those that have lost their jobs in those countries recently, it says.
The policy further states that interest rates should be cut further to encourage rebooting of economy particularly through the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) sector. Moreover, the latest surveys of different types should be finalised for providing assistance under BISP programme, and the lists should be culled from new surveys rather than relying on old ones, it says. Agriculture should be made the backbone of the economy. Growth in this sector will not only tackle rural poverty but lead to import substitution and food security. This indigenously led growth will create employment in the most impoverished parts of the country. Particular emphasis be placed on enhancing credit to new growers to increase productivity, the policy says.
In addition to discussion among the leadership of the party, the PPP policies on economy, education and vaccination are revised based on informed views and perspectives by citizens which young and women politicians collected through holding country-wide discussions with people. The party policies are put together so that party’s office-bearers and elected legislators are able to use written party policy to articulate party’s perspectives and the policies are available for media and citizens also.
The policy planning session was attended by a number of leaders of the PPP including (in alphabetical order by surname) Chaudhry Latif Akbar, President PPP Azad Kashmir; Ms. Sumera Gul, President District Women Wing of PPP; Barrister Mr. Amir Hassan, Mr. Nadeem Asghar Kaira, Former Tehsil Nazim Kharian; Ms. Palwasha Khan, Deputy Information Secretary PPP; Mr. Haider Zaman Qureshi; Mr. Tasneem Qureshi, Former MNA; Dr. Nafisa Shah, MNA; Syeda Yasmeen Safdar; and Senator Rukshana Zuberi.
The policy can be accessed by clicking the links below.