ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has announced huge tax relief on health supplies and edible items amid the coronavirus pandemic that now has affected over 128,000 people across the South Asian country.
In the budget for next fiscal year, the federal government has allocated Rs100 billion for Corona fund to tackle the health crisis that marred the country in March earlier this year.
Aiming provision of edible items at affordable prices to public, the government has also allocated Rs50 billion for utility stores, while Rs100 billion will be allocated to share the burden of people in wake of electricity and gas bills.
“Keeping the Corona-situation in mind, maximum relief for common man has been ensured in this budget. It can be rightly called a “Relief budget”. I express immense joy in stating that NO NEW TAX has been imposed in this #Budget2020,” said Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar in his budget speech in the National Assembly.
“Coronavirus pandemic was a huge setback for the underdeveloped nations,” Hammad noted, adding that although it was first thought to be a health issue but “soon afterwards, its social and economic impacts came to the fore”.
Azhar added that the PTI government’s efforts for economic stability were hampered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In these challenging times, the government’s top priority is to save lives and efforts are being made to reduce the effect on people’s lives and livelihoods,” he concluded.
Since the country is in the middle of fighting a pandemic, roughly Rs70 billion would be allotted for the relief efforts to counter COVID-19.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh revealed that Pakistan’s economy was on its way to stabilize before the outbreak of corona virus pandemic. There were significant improvements till March 2020. The government had repaid almostRs. 5,000 billion loans and was successful in reducing its expenditures.
But the pandemic caused huge losses and derailed it towards negative growth of 0.38 percent.All the major departments faced negative performance.