While the country is ultimately moved towards lock down, the Government finalized the Corona crises relief package to accommodate various sectors of the economy especially the daily waged workers. As for the news of shortage of various commodities, Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar clearly declared that such news are nothing more than rumors as the country is having sufficient stocks of all food items.
The package for exports, food security, safety nets, capital market, SMEs, medicine, electricity, gas and petroleum products will be announced on Tuesday (today).
Rs. 1.16 trillion have been reserved for various industries in the relief package
The breakup of relief package as claimed by sources is as follows:
Rs. 200 billion: Exporters
Rs. 200 billion: Daily wage workers
Rs. 100 billion: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Rs. 280 billion: Wheat procurement from farmers
Rs. 50 billion: Utility stores
Rs 120 billion: Vulnerable families
Rs. 50 billion: Medical Staff and Government workers
Rs. 50 billion: Prices of petroleum products
Rs. 30 billion: Capital Market
Rs. 13 billion: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
Rs. 75 billion: Prices of Food items
The complete package is estimated to be around Rs. 1.16 trillion
Moreover FBR is also expected to declare tax breaks on almost 61 items that are related to the sectors of food and medical. The Government after having a deep consultation with SBP, has formulated special relief to the export industries as they are losing a major part of their revenue due to cancellation of export orders however they are required to assure the Government that their employees will not be affected in terms of payment of their wages and salaries. As a matter of blessing, the prices of oil have been reduced all over the world and the impact of this saving will be transferred to the people through price cuts. PM Advisor on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has been in full consultation with provincial governments and the business community through video conferences and trying their best to come out of this terrifying situation with flying colors. Proposals were demanded from the representatives from various business sectors including garments, textile, pharma, PSE, tourism and hotel industry to keep things smooth and stable for their daily waged workers in this time of crises. Dr Sheikh told that the Government is focusing on following basic issues
How to deal with the virus?
How to provide essential food items at affordable price to the people?
How to maintain sufficient cash in hand to the common man?
How to provide help and assistance to the business community during lock down to avoid economy from being crashed?
Dr. Hafeez also urged the business community to look after the daily wagers taking it as a social responsibility as this is the most vulnerable sector of the country in such crises.
“There is no shortage of food stocks so don’t make panic buying”, says Khusroo Bakhtiar
Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar guided the people to avoid panic buying on the basis of “Food Shortage Rumors” and advised them to observe their normal purchase routine as the abrupt buying would lead the things towards supply disorders. As for the wheat stocks Bakhtiar explained that about 1.8 million tonnes of wheat stocks are available in the country and there is no chance of wheat shortage at all. Sindh Government and PASSCO are going to make fresh procurement in a couple of days. For Rice, the production (7 million tonnes) outclass the consumption (3.5 million tonnes) by double margin whereas the stocks of pulses are sufficient enough for a period of almost two-and-half months; the stocks of pulse Channa are enough for nine to ten months. The stocks of edible oil are enough for around three to four months.
Bakhtiar broke the news that the prices of these commodities are declining all over the world and advised the people to avoid panic buying as this would make them pay higher prices for low price products and commodities.