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PM Imran Khan announces economic package of Rs 200bn for poor, reduces petrol price by Rs 15


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced a major cut in fuel prices and a package of Rs 200 billion for poor people.

In a meeting with senior media persons in Islamabad, the Prime Minister said that the government will help the poor in difficult times, adding that the impression of a lockdown is being given in the country.

He said that chaos is being spread across the country, adding that the one of the biggest risks is making the wrong decisions in fear of the spread of coronavirus. It is possible that by making the wrong decisions, the society is destroyed, he said.

“Before imposing curfew, we need to think about the poor people whether we have the resources to feed poor people at home,” he said.

To help the industrial sector and especially the export sector, it was decided to release tax refunds amounting to Rs100 billion, besides, deferring of the interest payment to bolster this sector, he added.

For the small and medium industry, and agriculture sector, another amount of Rs100 billion was set aside with deferred interest payment, the prime minister said, adding concessional loans would also being extended to the sectors. The government wanted to bring down the input costs for the farmers.

Other packages, he said, included additional amount of 50 billion for the Utility Stores, Rs280 billion for the wheat procurement, slashing of petrol and diesel prices by Rs15 per liter for which the government would have to bear the burden of Rs75 billion.

An amount of Rs100 billion was allocated separately for the emergency situation, he added.

The prime minister said power consumers using 300 units and gas users with Rs2,000 monthly bills would be facilitated to deposit their bills through three monthly installments. A sum of Rs50 billion was also allocated for the medical staff. The National Disaster Management Authority would get Rs25 billion for purchase and procuring of kits, he announced.

Imran Khan said for the vulnerable families who were bearing the brunt of the difficult time, it was decided to allocate an amount of Rs150 billion for a period of four months.

He said they were also expanding the network of Panagah (shelter houses) where the precautionary measures had been strictly practiced.

Besides, he said, it was decided to either completely cut taxes or reduce them on different edible items. For the construction industry, the government would announce a separate package within days, which, he promised, had never been witnessed in the country s history.