ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Friday said that the government acted in a timely and well-calibrated manner to lessen the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on economy of the country.

“India is facing collapse of its economy due to COVID-19 but Pakistan witnessed industrial growth as compared to last year besides achieving tax collection targets while other business activities are also increasing,” the minister said while replying to a question in the Senate.

In a written reply, Minister for Finance and Revenue apprised that the outbreak of COVID-19 covered the whole world, posing severe socio-economic challenges, especially for the developing countries.

He said that the government has announced a largest ever Fiscal Stimulus package of Rs. 1,240 billion. The package covers Emergency Response, Support to Business and Relief to citizens.

He said that the special package for construction sector was also announced to facilitate the private sector investment and increase employment opportunities in the country in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

He said that to uplift agriculture sector “National Agriculture Emergency Programme” in coordination with all provinces is being executed. Thirteen mega projects at the cost of Rs. 277 billion are under execution.

He said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is providing liquidity support to households and businesses to help them through the ensuing temporary phase of economic disruption. 

The minister added the policy rate was cut by 625 basis point in total till June 25, 2020, bringing it down to 7.0 percent from a peak of more than 13.25 percent.