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Pakistan

Govt to bear electricity expense of small businesses allocates Rs75bn for labor relief

Azhar said small businesses having a commercial connection of less than five kilowatt and industrial consumers less
27 Apr 2020
  • Azhar said small businesses having a commercial connection of less than five kilowatt and industrial consumers less than 70 kilowatts can benefit from this initiative.
  • The government has also allocated Rs75 billion rupees to provide relief to laborers and daily wagers.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday approved a package for small businesses under which the government will bear electricity expenses of small businesses across Pakistan for three months.

This was stated by Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar while addressing a press briefing in the capital.  Azhar said small businesses having a commercial connection of less than five kilowatt and industrial consumers less than 70 kilowatts can benefit from this initiative, under which the government will pay electricity bills for the months of May, June and, July.

"The sums deposited in their bills will stay valid for utilisation upto 6 months. The sum will be based on actual consumption and total payments made from the meter in May, June, July 2019 period combined," said Azhar.

The minister said that 95 percent commercial and 80 percent industrial connection holders will be able to benefit from this facility.

Azhar highlighted that some 3.5 million people running small businesses i.e. tailor shops, small markets, and industrial units will take advantage of this initiative.

Furthermore, the government has also allocated Rs75 billion rupees to provide relief to laborers and daily wagers, who have got unemployed due to coronavirus informed the federal minister.

Azhar said this amount has been allocated on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide relief to the common people.

The Minister said under the program Rs12,000 rupees each will be distributed among four to six million people, which will be in addition to the 12 million Ehsas beneficiaries. He said a portal to this effect will be launched after getting federal cabinet's nod tomorrow.

The Minister said laborers and daily wagers can get themselves registered by accessing the portal and filling the required information there. Azhar informed that the registration process can be completed in around three minutes. He said the eligible people will be finalized after applying.

Azhar said that they will now be working on a third scheme, which will be a financial aid package for small businesses through which loans will be given without a guarantor.

"The ministry is also working on a collateral free financing for SME's for phase 2 of the relief package. That phase would also include targeted/prioritised relief measures for sectors most hit by Covid-19," tweeted Azhar, on Sunday.