Keeping in view the present circumstances, World Bank, IMF, and G20 countries are talking about debt relief for the developing countries.
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh hopes that these forums will be able to come up with a plan enabling developing countries like Pakistan to not only meet its international obligations but also provide relief to its population adversely affected by this pandemic.
He was talking to the ambassador of China, Mr. Yao Jing, who called on him in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The adviser also discussed the effect of the virus on the overall growth of the country’s economy as exports and remittances shall both suffer as global economies are in a recessionary phase.
He said that different economies have different levels of strengths to deal with the economic losses and the developing countries will be the worst hit by the impact of this slow down.
The adviser welcomed the ambassador and thanked the Chinese government for all the assistance it has provided to Pakistan in dealing with the pandemic. He then shared the details of the Economic Relief Package by the government of Pakistan to people whose lives and businesses have been affected the most.
He said that during this difficult time, the government has three major priorities: to provide health care and safety to its people, provide cash assistance to the most vulnerable and keep the wheel of the economy moving at a slow but steady pace.
The government has come up with a comprehensive relief package worth Rs. 1.2 trillion which includes Rs. 200 billion assistance for workers and laborers, Rs. 100 billion for supporting SME and agriculture sector, Rs. 107 billion as sales tax refunds and Rs. 50 billion income tax refunds from 2014 onward.
Moreover, Ehsaas Program through its urgent cash disbursement is taking care of the most vulnerable in the country. Reduction in petrol and diesel prices and deferment of payment of bills are some other significant steps. Incentivizing the construction sector is also an opportunity for those who are in need of work.
He further said that Pakistan looks forward to Chinese support in dealing with this unprecedented situation arising due to the pandemic.