PM announces refunds of Rs100bn to businesses; package for construction industry soon


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the government will announce a Rs100 billion package for the construction industry as the government tries to keep the country afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have decided we will give necessary incentives to the construction industry in order to provide job opportunities to people during this time of crisis,” PM Imran said while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad.

“We will support the industrial sector and give them incentives. The commerce ministry has also prepared a list of industries which can be reopened in the current situation,” he said.

The prime minister added that the construction of roads and infrastructure does not entail the danger of the spread of coronavirus. “We will develop the necessary SOPs to ensure the safety of workers,” he assured.

He added that promoting industries and giving incentives to the business community was an important step in taking the country forward.

“The refund of Rs100 billion announced today for the business community is a part of that process. We are ensuring timely refunds to the business community so that they do not face any liquidity issue,” he said.

He added the commerce ministry was in constant contact with the business community to figure out how the challenge posed by the epidemic can be overcome.

Speaking about the virus trajectory in the country, the prime minister said that Pakistan had not seen the virus blow up like other countries.

“I am confident that Pakistan will overcome this problem,” he said.

He added that weaker segments of the society were at greater risk due to the pandemic, which is why the government is trying to reach out to them under the Ehsaas programme. 

“A cash grant of twelve thousand rupees each will be given to 12 million poor families to protect them from the negative impacts of the crisis,” he noted.

Speaking on the occasion, Adviser on Finance Hafeez Sheikh said the payment of tax refunds amounting to Rs100bn will be completed in a week time. 

He noted that it was a historic step that the present government is clearing all outstanding sales tax refunds.

He said that apart from the packages for the business community, the government has earmarked Rs200bn for the procurement of wheat in order to support the agriculture sector and farmers.