SC points to lack of transparency in govt’s efforts to contain coronavirus

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed – while hearing the coronavirus suo motu case – Monday said there seems no transparency anywhere and work is apparently being only done on papers.
Justice Gulzar Ahmed headed the larger bench which conducted the hearing. Reports by the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Zakat and Ushr Department, Health Ministries of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh were submitted in the SC.
The CJP said in his remarks, “Billions of rupees are being spent on the COVID-19 kits and masks whereas the wholesale rate of a mask is just Rs 2. How much amount should be spent on masks and gloves? Why are billions of rupees being spent? Correct figures will only be known after audit of the expenditures.
“There is nothing in the federal and the provincial governments’ reports. The performance of the institutions has not been mentioned. Same was the case with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) report.”
The health secretary maintained, “The nature of the virus varies in different countries of the world. The pandemic is more dangerous in America and Europe where thousands of fatalities are occurring.”
The chief justice reprimanded the health secretary and directed him to not compare Pakistan with America at all. We cannot turn a blind eye to the situation, Justice Gulzar Ahmed stressed.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah said, “No province has come with a policy. Double standards are being observed as mosques have been opened while traders are complaining that they will be starved if the lockdown continues. The government is allowing those sectors to work from which it is scared.”

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