ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the government had decided to allow free movement of goods’ transport across the country, to ensure the supply and availability of essential commodities, especially food items to the people. Talking to media-persons here, he said the decision had been taken unanimously by federal and provincial governments in the wake of situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic and the problems faced by people due to lockdown and ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods. The prime minister, who earlier presided over a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) over COVID-19, said the government had also decided the opening of food-related industries for a smooth supply chain. “This is a difficult balance. At one hand, we have coronavirus which can spread, and on the other, we have to ensure that our people do not die of hunger,” he remarked, adding the movement of goods’ transport and the running of food industry would help check the problem. Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal were also present on the occasion. The prime minister also announced the launching of a special youth force namely the “Corona Relief Tigers” to tackle the situation arising out of COVID-19 and said the registration for joining the force would start from March 31. The special youth force would be utilized to reach the poor people, especially those living in slums and `Kachi Abadis’, and deliver food and other essential items at their doorsteps in case of hard conditions, he added. The prime minister also announced the setting up of “PM Fund” to cater to the needs of poor and needy. Under the Fund, the poor people and families would be provided direct cash through the Ehsas Programme, after gathering data of the unemployed and daily wagers hit by the coronavirus. Besides, he said, a special account would be opened in the State Bank of Pakistan for collection of money from the overseas Pakistanis to help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves, likely to be affected by the low exports and lesser trade activities due to the coronavirus.