Package for small businesses

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AFTER the launch of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program worth Rs 144 billion rupees for the poor families affected by the breakout of Corona Virus, the Federal Government rolled out another major relief package of Rs 125 billion rupees on Monday for small industries and daily workers rendered jobless due to the lockdown. Under the package, the government would pay the power bills of small businesses across the country for the next three months in addition to Rs 12,000 to daily labourers.
Indeed the small businesses as well as the labourers and workers are faced with dire situation due to the lockdown situation and providing them the succour at this juncture was the need of the hour. Since this relief package will also be executed through Ehsaas Program, we are confident transparency will be ensured in it and that the amount is to reach where it is meant for. It will be unfair not to appreciate the government that regardless of the difficult financial times, it is coming up with sector specific packages so that maximum relief could be extended to all those in need. Small and medium enterprises indeed are the backbone of the economy as they drive the local economies and provide jobs to local residents. Since these units are faced with immense crisis due to Coronavirus, we will also suggest the government to defer their loan payments for the next three to six months. Rather they should also be given interest free loans so that they could revive their businesses. Then gradually the small traders should be allowed to reopen their businesses subject to the observance of health guidelines and SOPs by the health department. Through this piece, we also want to draw attention of the government towards the plight of the small farmers whose wheat crops have been ravaged by recent rains and hailstorm. A relief package should also be announced for these farmers which should envisage not only the cash grant but also reduction in their input costs such as fertilizers. It is only the agriculture sector which can help the country withstand the present challenge.

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