Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a financial relief package worth Rs. 1.2 Trillion to battle the negative impact caused by CoronaVirus on the country and its economy. This package was unveiled on Tuesday while talking to a selected group of TV anchors.
The 1.2 Tr Relief Package Includes:
1. Reduction in Prices of Petrol
The PM announced reduction of petroleum products by Rs.15 per litre including diesel, petrol and kerosene with immediate effect. The government estimated that it was going to face a hit of Rs.75 billion on its petroleum levy over the next three months.
Advisor to PM on Petroleum added,
“POL prices would be further reduced if the existing trend of reduced prices persisted in international market.”
2. A stipend of daily wagers of Rs. 3000 monthly
The government has allocated Rs150 billion for providing Rs3,000 monthly help to daily wagers. The centre would also involve provinces to expand the programme to reach out to the maximum number of people.
Further on, the government has also increased the additional allocation of Rs. 50 billion for Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for the provision of essential food items at affordable prices. The premier also announced an allocation of Rs.280 billion for procurement of 8 million tons of wheat as it will help for providing cash to farmers.
3. Improving the liquidity crunch for exporters and industrialists
The PM has announced tax breaks on import of pulses, waived off duty on palm oil and reduced petroleum levy on petrol, oils and lubricants (POL) products to further lessen the burden on consumers. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar told The News,
“We have provided relief package to the tune of Rs1.2 trillion as it did not incorporate tax relief provided through abolishing/reducing taxes on pulses and palm oil.”
Moreover, the PM has announced that the FBR is instructed to release Rs. 100 billion refunds immediately for industries and exporters to help improve the liquidity crunch. Further on, the principle and mark-up of loans would be deferred with the help of Rs. 100 billion. SME’s businesses would be provided with concessional loans and their mark-up would also be deferred.
4. Installments for Electricity and Gas Bills
Federal Minister Hammad Azhar also claimed that electricity and gas bills through three-month instalment payments would cost the government 70 billion and Rs.30 billion as the companies would be facing disruptions in their cash bill.
PM Khan also added the electricity bills up to 300 units that consist of 75 percent consumers will be able to pay their bills through installments over the next three months. Gas bills would also be paid through 3-month installments.
5. Funds for Emergency Relief and NDMA
The PM announced the allocation of Rs. 50 billion for procurement of medical equipment. Rs.100 billion has been put up for emergency relief for the ongoing situation due to Corona. The PM also allocated Rs25 billion for National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). He would also unveil a special relief package for the construction sector in the next few days to kick-start different industries to help provide jobs at these difficult times.
At the end, the PM again added that Pakistan could not afford a complete lockdown with a curfew. However, he and the government would be reviewing the situation after a couple of weeks. He further added that provincial governments could take their own decision as per the 18th constitutional amendment.
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