Advisor for Finance in Pakistan Hafiz Sheikh has said that the Coronavirus is affecting the economy of the country and exports are under threat, talks with the IMF for an additional $ 1.4 billion, the Prime Minister gave a relief package of Rs.200 billion, provincial governments can increase this, giving Rs. 25 billion to the NDMA, and reduce the prices of petroleum products, it will be cheaper over the next 3 months.
At a joint press conference with Advisor Finance Abdul Razzaq Dawood and Assistant Specialist for Petroleum on Wednesday, Advisor Finance Dr. Abdullah Hafiz Sheikh briefed on the impact and governmental measures on the Coronavirus economy.
He said that our current account deficit has been reduced from 20 billion to 3 billion, provinces have been given more funds of their share, exports are increasing, our economy is moving in the right direction, our government has taken 4,000 billion, refunded loans, State Bank reserves increased by $ 5 billion.
Hafiz Sheikh warns that the Coronavirus is likely to affect the economy and reduce exports from neighboring countries. The economic decline of the country will decrease, the economic activities will also decrease and the income of the people would suffer.
On the government’s measures, the Treasury Advisor said that the federal and the provinces are working together in this situation created by the Coronavirus. The Prime Minister gave a relief package of Rs.200 billion have been placed already, provincial governments can increase it if they want, our efforts are to protect and secure the daily wages people.
Hafiz Sheikh says industrialists will be given a tax refund of Rs. 100 billion, will try to reduce the prices of agricultural drugs, the government will buy 50 lac tonnes of wheat from farmers, facilitate the payment of bank loans to small businesses. Gee will give a relief package of Rs 150 billion to 70 million people, of which 5 million people are included in the BISP (Benazir Income Support Program).
He said that the government was abolishing the capital value tax, the price of petroleum products was immediately reduced by Rs. 15. In the next three months, the price of petroleum products will reduce further, they will be cheaper.
Due to the situation caused by the Coronavirus, the price of crude oil in the global market has reached the lowest level in almost 20 years at $22. While the number of victims continues to increase day by day.
Hafiz Sheikh says the department is keeping 50 billion for health, giving Rs. 25 billion to NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), which can be further increased, with additional 1.4 billion with the International Monetary Fund. Talks are also underway for the dollar.
The adviser said the business community would help them if further demands arise, interest rates will be reduced by 2.25% in a few days and would accelerate the PSDP program. Coronavirus has killed 8 patients in Pakistan so far, the number of affected people has exceeded 1,000, lockdown in most parts of the country including Sindh, Punjab and Azad Kashmir, army to keep people confined to their homes.