Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is going to conduct a meeting today so as to clearly explain the details and bifurcation of the relief package that PM had announced for the poor community of the country suffering financially from the fatal outbreak of Covid-19. Prime Minister’s Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh will chair the special meeting that is going to be held on Monday instead of its usual schedule (Wednesday) so as to implement the benefits at the earliest. The Federal Government is trying to build a strong coordination with the provinces so that they may formulate their road map for the relief activities after consulting the local administrations.
As a matter of importance, the relief package will be discussed in the meeting and after formal approval from the ECC, it will be forwarded to the Federal Cabinet for endorsement.
The relief package has been divided into three major categories:
Rs. 190 billlion: For Emergency Response
Rs. 570 billion: For Citizens’ Relief
Rs. 480 billion: For Business and Economy’s Support
Out of the Rs. 190 billion, Rs. 25 billion have been reserved for the NDMA for health and emergency relief, Rs. 50 billion for medical facilities and incentives for health workers and Rs. 100 billion for contingency management. The remaining Rs. 15 billion is reserved in the form of tax waver on essential health equipment and food items.
The relief package is divided into three major categories
As far as the Rs. 570 billion are concerned, Rs. 200 billion are reserved for the protection and job security of the industrial and business workers (daily waged workers). The Government intends to involve the business community and provincial governments to devise and formulate a mechanism in this regard. A proposal of using Social Security and EOBI for this purpose is also under consideration. Rs. 150 billion will be distributed to the vulnerable families through BISP and “PANAGAH” network, Rs. 70 billion will be used for relief in petroleum prices whereas Rs. 50 billion have been earmarked for “Utility Store Support”. Moreover Rs. 100 billion will be used to relieve the electricity and gas consumers (with less than 300 units of electricity and gas bill of less than Rs. 2000/month).
In the third category, Rs. 480 billion will be used to support business and economy though which Rs. 100 billion will be given back to the exporters in the form of tax refunds. Another Rs. 100 billion will be used in the form of a gap in repayment of principal and interest, concessional loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and also for cheaper fertilizers and other subsidies on agriculture. The remaining Rs. 280 billion will be used for contingency management.
PM Khan to take nation into confidence today
PM Imran Khan has decided again to take the nation into confidence regarding the steps the Government has taken up till now and the upcoming strategies and plans to fight against the Covid-19. A team of 8 Chinese doctors had reached Pakistan to provide their support in this time of crisis and catastrophe. Moreover, the fifth consignment of surgical masks and other protective tools reached Pakistan from China this morning. Corona Relief Tiger Force has also been announced and the registrations will be open on PM Citizen portal from 31st March, 2020.