Govt approves economic relief package in view of coronavirus

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STAFF REPORT

ISLAMABAD

A major economic relief package has been approved at a meeting of government’s economic team chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

According to details, Rs3000 per month will be granted to seven million daily wagers across the country. A Rs200 billion relief package for exporters was also approved in the meeting.

According to sources, PM Imran Khan will also announce a package on Tuesday to provide tax relief to construction industry.

Prime Minister Imran also ordered to closely monitor coronavirus situation in the country and directed to take special care of poor.

During the meeting, economic team also briefed PM on current economic situation of the country.

Earlier, on Sunday Prime Minister Imran Khan on urged the nation to keep calm and not panic as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak.

“Pakistan cannot afford to impose a total lockdown. 25% of the people in the country live below the poverty line,” the prime minister said in an address to the nation.

“What will happen to them if I go ahead with the lockdown?” he said.

The premier added that if the situation in the country had escalated as it had in Italy and China he would have thought about imposing a lockdown. “Let me tell you what a lockdown is. A lockdown means putting a curfew and restricting people to their homes with the military on the streets,” he said.

“Ninety per cent of the people who get coronavirus recover after a few days. If the virus spreads, it is the elderly and the weak who will suffer and will have to go to the hospitals,” he remarked.

He added that the virus could be curbed if people stopped attending gatherings and weddings and started staying at home to ensure minimum spread of the virus.

“If people start celebrating weddings and attending large functions, they will put the elderly at risk. “It is your responsibility to exercise caution and restraint. This is why we have closed down malls, schools and universities.”

“I take pride in my nation; we have braved many problems and crises. The Pakistani nation has united to fight challenges whenever the country has been faced with them. A nation’s character shines through in hard times and I saw my nation’s character in the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods,” he remarked.