QUETTA - Provincial Finance Minister Zahoor Buledi on Wednesday announced that the Balochistan government had decided to give a tax relief of Rs 1.5 billion amid lockdown due to coronavirus.

The finance minister said that key decisions were made during the yesterday’s cabinet meeting including giving exemptions on sales tax on services, and infrastructure cess. “It is also decided to lower the duty on purchase of surgical equipment,” he said adding that one percent exemption was also approved for Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) bills.

“We have already released Rs 760 million in terms of ration to be distributed in the provincial districts, he said. The minister said that there were 70 cases of local coronavirus transmission in the province and they were in process to establish 11 more laboratories to expedite testing process. He said that they have also asked the federal government to increase their quota in Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) by four percent, bringing it to 12 percent.

He said that they had addressed the genuine concerns raised by doctors and paramedical staff in the province.