Islamabad                 -                 Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet will today (Monday) approve Rs 1.2 trillion Economic Relief  package announced by the Prime Minister Imran Khan to combat COVID19 last week, it is learnt reliably here.

A special meeting of ECC has been convened to give nod to Rs1.2 trillion rescue and stimulus package announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan last week to mitigate the adverse impacts of corona pandemic on various sectors/classes of society, official sources told The Nation here Sunday. Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh will preside over the Special meeting of ECC.

As per the relief package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the highest chunk of Rs288 billion will go to the Wheat procurement. It is worth to mention here that the wheat procurement is routine feature of the government expenditure which is being spent every year. This year however the government has increased the wheat procurement target by almost 50 percent from 4 million tonnes to 8.2 million tonnes.  The second biggest allocation Rs200 billion will go to Daily Wages labour.

For the relief of vulnerable families Rs144 billion has been earmarked. The relief package for the vulnerable families will enable the government increase the stipend of the deserving families by Rs1000 per month from Rs2,000 to Rs3,000 per month for four months.

The relief package also include Rs100 billion as refunds for Industry/Exporters. For Agriculture and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Rs100 billion was earmarked which will be used for deferred payment of loans for agriculture sector and small & medium enterprises (SMEs). To deal with future emergencies an amount of Rs 100 billion has been allocated for Emergency Funds.

To provide a break to the consumers in electricity/Gas bills Rs110 billion has been allocated in the relief package. Under the scheme the gas and electricity consumers would be allowed to pay their bills in three instalments. However, the scheme would be specific to the consumers using less than 300 units monthly electricity and less than Rs2,000 per month of gas bills.

An additional Rs50 billion has been earmarked for the utility stores corporations, and Rs15 billion tax break on health and food supplies have been allocated in relief package. For Panagah expansion Rs6 billion has been earmarked. For National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Rs25 billion were announced. Beside the direct relief, government has also reduced State Bank of Pakistan interest rates by 150 basis points to 11 %.