ISLMABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced a multi-billion package involving relief for labour and underprivileged class, business community and industries and farmers besides lowering fuel prices in the country amid shutdown in various parts of the country out of coronavirus fear that has already claimed seven lives.
While addressing a group of media-men along with Special Assistant to PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, the prime minister said that they have earmarked Rs 200 billion for labour class and are also in touch with the provinces and business community to devise a strategy as to how they could facilitate federal government in the process.
“We are giving a tax refund of Rs 100 billion to exporters while Rs 100 billion is also set aside for small and medium industries and agriculture sector.” “We will also defer the payments of interests to be made from both these sectors [small industries and agriculture],” he said while announcing a relief after coronavirus wreaked havoc on business activities countrywide. To help the industrial sector and especially the export sector, it was decided to release tax refunds amounting to Rs100 billion, besides, deferring of the interest payment to bolster this sector, he added.
For the small and medium industry, and agriculture sector, another amount of Rs 100 billion was set aside with deferred interest payment, the prime minister said, adding concessional loans would also being extended to the sectors. The government wanted to bring down the input costs for the farmers. Other packages, he said, included additional amount of 50 billion for the Utility Stores, Rs 280 billion for the wheat procurement, slashing of petrol and diesel prices by Rs15 per liter for which the government would have to bear the burden of Rs75 billion. An amount of Rs100 billion was allocated separately for the emergency situation, he added. The prime minister said power consumers using 300 units and gas users with Rs 2,000 monthly bills would be facilitated to deposit their bills through three monthly installments. A sum of Rs 50 billion was also allocated for the medical staff. The National Disaster Management Authority would get Rs 25 billion for purchase and procuring of kits, he announced. Imran Khan said for the vulnerable families who were bearing the brunt of the difficult time, it was decided to allocate an amount of Rs 150 billion for a period of four months. He said they were also expanding the network of Panagah (shelter houses) where the precautionary measures had been strictly practiced. Besides, he said, it was decided to either completely cut taxes or reduce them on different edible items. For the construction industry, the government would announce a separate package within days, which, he promised, had never been witnessed in the country’s history.