ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday emphasized that out-of-the-box solutions were required for economic growth in these crucial times as the Covid-19 had adversely impacted the world’s economy, including that of Pakistan.

Chairing a meeting of the think tank on finance and economy, he said that from day one, the government had adopted a strategy to maintain a balance between sustaining economic activity and protecting the masses from the infectious disease.

The PM’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Raza Baqir and former finance secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan attended the meeting, the PM office media wing said in a press release. Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Shaukat Tareen, Sultan Alana, Dr Ijaz Nabi and Arif Habib participated via video link.

The adviser on finance briefed the meeting about the objectives and focus areas of the think tank on finance and economy.

The prime minister said regular feedback of the think tank should be provided to him on various ongoing initiatives, policies and programmes of the government.

The prime minister said their prime focus was on providing relief to the poor segments of society through targeted subsidies.

He said the Ehsaas was the flagship programme of the government to alleviate poverty, adding that it needed to be expanded along with a strategy to reach the neediest.

The prime minister highlighted that a substantive package had been announced for the construction and housing sector that aimed at increasing much needed employment opportunities, providing economic stimulus and adding to the inventory of affordable housing for the poor.

He appreciated the proposals presented by the think tank on banking and finance, further improving the Ehsaas programme and facilitating small and medium enterprises.

Later, talking to the media, Hafeez Shaikh said the government had decided to take further measures to enhance easy loan facility so that maximum number of deserving people benefited from it.

He said the basic purpose of the think tank was to consider the measures for bringing improvements in the country’s economy with the help of renowned business, academicians and banking experts.

He said during the Saturday’s meeting, the issues of banking and finance sector were considered and decision to further expand digitisation was taken.

The advisor said the participants also discussed implementation of incentives provided to the construction industry by the prime minister.

It was also decided that maximum number of deserving people would be provided easy loans while the leakages in the system would be zeroed, the adviser added.