In Islamabad, the government has announced that certain low-risk industries will be opened to resume operations during the coronavirus lockdown imposed on the public.
This step was taken in the parliamentary committee held to deal with the COVID-19 situation. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser was the president of the committee.
All concerned political party members and Federal Ministers were present on the occasion. During the briefing, Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Finance Advisor to the PM discussed the economic and social effect that the lockdown as a result of the pandemic on Pakistan’s economy.
While briefing the attendees, he explained that Pakistan is going through a loss of $1.4 billion in investment portfolio owing to the reduced exports and flow of remittances from foreign countries that are affected by the outbreak. As a result, this will impact the GDP rate in 2020-21 to remain low.
Before the outbreak, things were looking good. Pakistan’s foreign reserves were growing and inflation had declined in the month of February as the economy stabilized. The exports had incremented by 3% and imports were reduced by 18%. The budget deficit had also decreased by 2.3%, he further added.
To cope with the ongoing situation and rejuvenate the economy, the government has approved an economic stimulus package including relief incentives for the construction industry.
The government’s relief packages include a grant of Rs1.5 billion released by the federal government for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Moreover, tax relief on food items and prescriptions have additionally been conceded to accommodate the public, particularly with the sacred month of Ramadan drawing closer. The Utility Stores Corporation has been given Rs25 billion.
Moreover, a sum of Rs200 billion in relief was distributed for the day to day wage earners.
The government has additionally given relief of Rs70 billion on fuel costs.
To oblige the exporters, Rs100 billion aid was conceded by the administration, informed Advisor to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.
An alleviation reserve of Rs100 billion has likewise been affirmed to encourage the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the agriculture sector.
Alongside clarifying the administration’s top needs to continue the generally safe ventures, Federal Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar declared that the center is also planning a strategy for wheat harvesting.