Islamabad: Federal government has lifted the ban on goods transport amid a country-wide coronavirus lockdown.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee, announced that the government has decided to open goods transport in the country to ensure the continuous supply of ration and essential household items to the public.
Imran Khan stated that, “Today we have decided [in NCC meeting] to lift ban on inter-provincial movement of goods transport to ensure sufficient food supplies during countrywide lockdown situation so that there is no shortage of essential food items.”
Prime minister noted that the shortage of essential goods is unacceptable as it could spread panic in the country. It has been decided that vehicles transporting such goods would be allowed to travel unabated.
“We have to keep a balance that these factories will work by maintaining all precautionary steps to prevent spread of the viral disease,” he added.
Earlier, various parts of the country had reported price hike in grocery items due to a significant drop in supply due to travel restrictions. Karachi Retail Grocers Association reported a 20 per cent increase in essential food items – primarily pulses.
Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research – Khusro Bakhtiar advised the public to abstain from indulging in panic buying as the shortage of wheat in the country is temporary and there is at least 1.6 million tons of wheat in public sector alone.