Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday said in view of the evolving situation due to the spread of coronavirus, the government has initiated negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an additional grant of $1.4 billion on fast-track basis. The government’s financial team has made a comprehensive funds mobilization strategy for acquiring $1 billion from the World Bank (WB) and $3.5 million from the Asian Development Bank, besides early release of $900 million earmarked by the latter for different projects, he told a press conference here, along with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar. The adviser said the $1.4 billion grant will be in line with the previous programme Pakistan has with the fund, which will be disbursed at the earliest.Hammad Azhar said the government is fully focused and committed to facilitate the people in the critical situation. The provision of medical facilities and food to the people is the topmost priority of the government and for this, the government will pursue WB and the ADB to release their aid amounting to $600 million on different counts on fast track basis, he added. However, all the international financial institutions will be engaged for economic assistance once the coronavirus is overcome, he said.“We are also in coordination with Japan Intentional Cooperation Agency (JICA) to get assistance for providing facilities to the people in current situation,” Hammad said, adding that the government will provide facilities to the business community for continuing business activities sin the country. Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said it is the government’s priority to save domestic businesses, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), retailers and labour.Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the media has been playing an important role in the current crisis and the government will take all necessary safety measures to protect the lives of journalists.