By: Our Correspondent
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has shared comprehensive policies on vaccination, education and economy under COVID-19.
Senator Musadik Masood Malik, President, Professionals Wing PML-N, member Economic Advisory Council PML-N and former Federal Minister of Water and Power shared the policies in a press talk after a working session of the policy wing of the party.
On vaccination, the party believed in ensuring early and equitable access to vaccination. The party policy is a prioritization of the target population starting from frontline health workers, paramedical staff, to aged and immunocompromised people followed by teachers, nomads and the rest of the population. The party believes in establishing a database to enable eligible people to register themselves and for the purpose of monitoring. Vaccination centres should also be established and existing trained vaccination staff should also be used, according to the party policy. A suitable vaccine should also be selected based on various factors including logistics, cost, lead time for orders, etc. and based on cold chain and capacity logistics as per PML-N policy. Marginalised segments of society are to be given the vaccine free of cost. The party also believes that vaccinators should be trained on handling, storage and administration of vaccine. Furthermore, party policy places focus on awareness raising via different means to curb anti-vaccine propaganda and utilise the Polio infrastructure for advocacy and social mobilisation. The party policy dictates placing before Parliament an elaborate vaccination plan.
On management of impact of coronavirus on Economy, PML-N updated policy emphasises on free of cost distribution of masks in low-income areas. The policy supports the complete adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and penalising those who violate the SOPs. The PML-N policy is to provide aid and relief and tax relief to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) approach, along with deferment of electricity bills till June 2021. The policy emphasises smart taxation as a measure to generate revenue without significantly increasing the economic burden on citizens. The policy highlights importance of supporting agriculture sector affected by the virus through relief packages to affected farmers and loans for mechanization to small farmers. The PML-N policy is to provide assistance to citizens who have lost their jobs during the pandemic through the expansion of Ehsaas/BISP Programme, along with increase in the amount and scope of the programme. The PML-N policy stresses on parliamentary oversight on all economic measures to manage the pandemic. The PML-N policy also supports enrolling in the IMF programme to cover external debt repayment. The policy also stated that basic tariffs should remain unchanged till the end of this fiscal year.
The party’s policy on education says that schools should not be closed except in those areas where mortality rate goes above 100 per million. The party believe that if there is a complete closure of on-campus education, students and parents should be informed beforehand to prepare for online classes, and tuition fees needs to be reduced to 1/3rd of the actual fees. If there is a partial closure of schools, 60% of the fees should be taken and if schools are open for alternate days, full tuition fees can be taken. The party policy places focus on provision of broadband internet across the country, and providing IT devices to poor families. The party policy places emphasis on setting up a data management system to ascertain learning loss of students and prepare its remedies. The party policy elaborates on provision of technical assistance to all stakeholders in the education system through webinars, workshops, and setting up of educational radios, television channels and digital learning platform. The party policy supports implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) SOPs in schools.
In addition to discussion among the leadership of the party, the PML-N policies on vaccination, education and economy 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 as well.
The policy planning session was attended by the following members of the PML-N Dr. Afnan Ullah Khan; Vice President PML-N, Sindh; Mr. Ahmed Iqbal, Ex-Chairman District Council; Mr. Agha Shahzeb Durrani, Member Central Executive Committee, PML-N; Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, MNA; Mr. Aqeel Najam Hashmi, General Secretary Youth Wing PML-N; Mr. Asif Rafiq Rajwana; Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson, Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges and Secretary Membership & Training, PML-N; Mr. Bilal Azhar Kayani, Assistant Secretary General, PML-N; MNA; Malik Sohaib Ahmad Bherth, MPA; Ms. Maiza Hameed, MNA and Information Secretary Punjab PMLN; Ms. Mehnaz Akbar Aziz, MNA; Senator Musadik Masood Malik; Dr. Nisar Ahmed Cheema, MNA; Mr. Ramesh Singh Arora, PML-N; Mr. Rana Ihsaan Afzal Khan and Mr. Rana Iradat Sharif Khan, MNA.