Islamabad: If reports are to be believed, Prime Minister Imran Khan's government in Pakistan has announced a PKR 1.25 trillion package to keep the country's economy afloat. On Tuesday initial reports pegged Covid-19 induced damage to Pakistan's economy at 1.3 trillions.
The latest announcement was reported by DAWN News claiming that the package would include relief measures for SMEs and daily wage workers. "The federal and provincial governments are working together," Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister was quoted as saying in the report.
This is the latest economic relief from Khans' government after ensuring cheaper Petrol on Tuesday. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced that petrol and diesel prices will be reduced by Rs 15."Petrol, diesel, kerosene and light diesel will all be reduced by Rs15 per litre," he said.
The Planning Commission of Pakistan estimated that the size of the country's GDP stood at Rs 44 trillion and one-fourth stood at Rs 11 trillion, so the disruption caused by Coronavirus was expected to cause at least 10 percent losses in the last quarter (April-June) that would stand at Rs 1.1 trillion at least.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to address the current coronavirus outbreak. He also offered the government various solutions for combating the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Some of the measures proposed by Sharif include slashing crucial interest rates by three to four per cent. He also further proposed to double the salaries of medical staff and seek the active support of media for awareness campaigns.
On Tuesday, Federal secretary commerce Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera said that Pakistan's exports could face loss in the range of $2 - 4 Billion as export orders had got canceled. However, an irony surfaced - while the country's Ministry of Commerce estimated disruption in both imports and exports, Pakistan's Maritime Ministry claimed no disruption in its shipping industry .
So far Pakistan's tally of confirmed cases soared to 1,016 cases on Wednesday. The Province of Sindh remains worst affected with 413 cases followed by Punjab with 312 cases, 115 cases in Balochistan, 82 in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), 78 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 16 in national-capital Islamabad.
*With inputs from ANI