ISLAMABAD         -              The government has decided to give relief package to the exporters who are facing difficulties due to the deadly wave of COVID-19.

Pakistani exporters are being told not to ship consignments till further notice. Exporters are seeking relief package from the government to offset the massive losses.  The ministry of commerce had estimated that Pakistan’s exports might decline by up to $2.6 billion due to the COVID-19 in next three to four months.

Business community had already expressed displeasure over the meagre cut in interest rate by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Businessmen were expecting at least 200 basis points reduction in the interest rates. However, the SBP had cut the interest by only 75 basis points cut to 12.5 percent. The market is almost unanimous that such a nominal cut would not help in the prevailing circumstances.

However, the government has now assured the exporters to give relief package.  I want to assure our exporters that the government is fully aware of the difficulties faced by you due to the Corona Virus.

In the coming days we will be giving a relief package, particularly to ease the liquidity problems faced by you,” said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood on Twitter.

He further said that he had a conference call with US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross. “I feel this is the beginning to increasing the interaction between the two governments. Although there is no specific proposal we’ve agreed to move forward in areas and particularly availability of funds for Pakistan under the US International Development Finance Cooperation,” he added.

According to a report, a high-powered government committee has proposed a range of measures to support domestic industry in maintaining rising global export orders in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

The measures recommended in the report released by the committee noted that the broad contours of the policy measures include reducing interest rates, support for small investors, deferment of loan payments, setting up of reserve funds, special incentives, reduction in corporate tax rate and exemptions.

It is worth mentioning here that government is already struggling to enhance the country’s exports. The incumbent government had provided several incentives to the five exports oriented sectors including textile to enhance the country’s exports.

The government had depreciated the currency and reduced the prices of electricity and gas but it failed to achieve the desired results as export still increased by only 3.62 percent in first eight months (July to February) of the current fiscal year over the previous year.

The country’s exports had recorded at $15.64 billion in July to February period of the year 2019-20 as against $15.097 billion in same period of the last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.