Rs1.25tr relief package to provide relief to masses: Hafeez

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ISLAMABAD Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government in the wake of coronavirus outspread has announced a massive relief package amounting to 1.25 trillion rupees to support the business community and to provide relief to the poor people. A remarkable amount of 200 billion rupees have been allocated for the labour class, which can risk their jobs due to steps being taken to contain the pandemic, he said while talking to media persons in Islamabad on Wednesday. The PM’s Advisor said 100 billion rupees have been earmarked to provide liquidity as tax refunds to the export industry to protect theexport sector. Regarding small and medium enterprises and agriculture sectors, he said 100 billion rupees have been reserved to facilitate farmers and small factory owners. Hafeez Shaikh said that 150 billion rupees will be spent to provide financial assistance of three thousand rupees to 12 million families across Pakistan for four months. He said 50 billion rupees are being given to Utility Stores to provide daily items, especially flour, ghee, sugar, and pulses to the countrymen on subsidized rates. Regarding ensuring protection of health workers, the Advisor to PM on Finance said that an additional amount of 50 billion rupees has been kept to procure protective gear and other necessary equipment in this regard. He said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will get 25 billion rupees to fight the pandemic. Hafeez Shaikh further stated that tax on edible items is being completely abolished or massively reduced to facilitate vulnerable segments of society.—INP