Islamabad - The federal government is likely to approve a special relief package for the people and economy in the wake of Corona virus pandemic today, Monday. A high level meeting to be chaired by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan will be held that is likely to approve special relief package for the people and the national economy in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. The impact, assessment and the mode of bailout will be discussed in the meeting.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh met Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar on Sunday to discuss and finalise the contours of the special relief package being prepared by the government in the wake of Corona virus epidemic, said a spokesman of the Finance division. Secretary Finance Naveed Akram Baloch, Special Secretary Finance Mr. Omar Hamid Khan and other senior officers of the Finance Division also attended the meeting. During the meeting, different options and proposals as part of the proposed package were discussed. Government is considering a proposal to utilize Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) forum to support individual/families whose livelihoods were at risk due to closure of small businesses, restaurants, retail business, daily wagers and factory workers.

Meanwhile a spokesperson of the Power Division (Ministry of Energy) said that due to Corona situation, the Federal government was working on a relief package in the power Sector for businesses and household consumers.  “On Monday, a high level meeting is to be chaired by the Prime Minister in this regard,” said the spokesperson. The spokesperson said that a lot of work was already going on in the power division regarding the provision of relief package in power sector. The power division advised the provinces not to announce any relief unilaterally for power sector. 'All of Pakistan is in it together', he added.

 It is worth mentioning here that a meeting was held last week in the Planning Commission and was attended by various ministries and provinces including Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). The meeting had discussed the initial assessments and expected impact of COVID-19 on various sectors of the economy. The meeting assessed the socioeconomic impact of Corona virus on the national economy with the aim to undertake timely interventions to safeguard the economy against the impending effects of Corona virus.

Official sources told The Nation that Corona pandemic is likely to impact Pakistan's export and tourism sector the most. The country is likely to miss its export target of Rs 24 billion.