Up to 6m people to benefit from new relief package, PM told

By: News Desk      Published: 11:39 PM, 27 Apr, 2020
Up to 6m people to benefit from new relief package, PM told
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a meeting in Islamabad.–File photo

Briefing Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Monday about the Rs75 billion package for workers, daily wage earners and small businesses, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar said small businesses would not have to pay their electricity bills for three months.

He said that 4 to 6 million people would benefit from the relief package, which would be given by the Ministry of Industries in collaboration with the Ehsaas Programme. He also informed the meeting about the industries, including steel mills, which would be allowed to resume business activity in the second phase of easing of the nationwide lockdown triggered by the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan was chairing the meeting on the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Federal ministers Asad Umar and Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Special Assistants to Prime Minister Zafar Mirza and Moeed Yusuf, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Muhammad Afzal and many senior officers attended the meeting.

They briefed the prime minister about the current situation visa-a-vis the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the number of coronavirus cases, the number of patients who have recovered from the viral infection and the number of deaths caused by the disease. The meeting was informed that the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Pakistan is comparatively less than other countries of the world.

On this occasion, the NDMA chairman briefed the meeting about availability of testing kits, personal protection equipment, N-95 masks, ventilators and other such things.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said that policies were made in the past keeping in view needs and interests of the elite class. He said the government would prepare a strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis keeping in view the needs of all segments of the society. He said the government would strike a balance in its strategy: it will keep the economic activity going and keep taking measures for protection of people from coronavirus.

Khan said the government prepared its policy with regard to mosques in consultation with religious figures. He said that religious figures themselves took the responsibility for compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for people visiting mosques. He said it was responsibility of every individual in the society to make sure that he/she observes social distancing. He said the government would prepare a strategy for remaining days of the holy month of Ramazan keeping in view the evolving situation and needs of the people in this situation.