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Business

Web Desk
April 26, 2020

Hammad Azhar says support package for small businesses to be presented to ECC tomorrow

Business

Web Desk
Sun, Apr 26, 2020
The News/via Geo.tv/Files

ISLAMABAD: Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar said Sunday his ministry would present a support package for small businesses to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) tomorrow (Monday) to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Azhar said his ministry was also developing a collateral-free financing scheme for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for a second phase of the relief package.

"That phase would also include targeted/prioritised relief measures for sectors most hit by COVID-19," he wrote on Twitter, adding that "millions of small businesses and industries shall benefit from this package" once approved by the Cabinet and the ECC.

Earlier this week, the ECC had approved Rs75 billion for targeted payments to the low-income groups, especially labourers and daily wagers severely affected by the coronavirus lockdown in Pakistan.

According to a statement released Wednesday by the government, an estimated six million people were expected to benefit from the scheme in addition to the 12-million labour population already targeted via the Kifalat programme.

The amount was obtained from Prime Minister Imran Khan's COVID-19 Relief Package of Rs200 billion, the government had said, and was approved during an ECC meeting chaired by PM's Adviser on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

Azhar's ministry, alongside the Poverty Alleviation and Social Sector Development Division (PASSD), were tasked to jointly work out comprehensive mechanisms and modalities to ensure a transparent and efficient disbursement of support to the deserving people, the statement had said.

It is noteworthy that the federal cabinet had last month approved a Rs1.2-trillion economic relief package as the coronavirus crisis worsened.