ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a multi-billion rupee relief package for the economically vulnerable segments of the society due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy.
The package was announced during a meeting chaired by the PM. Among others present were Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa, ISI Chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, Federal Minister Planning and Development Asad Umar. Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Advisor on Finance Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor on Textile and Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and heads of FBR and Pakistan Housing Authority. Governor State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir and provincial finance ministers joined the meeting on video link.
Under the package, the monthly stipend of Benazir Income Support Program has been increased to Rs3000 from Rs2000.
The funds of government’s Ehsaas Program will be disseminated among eligible persons according to data available on BISP with support from National Socio-Economic Registry of the BISP. According to sources, the stipend amount as well as number of beneficiaries has also been increased. Currently the BISP beneficiaries stand at 5.2 million. Other options to provide relief to low income groups, ensuring food security, vigilance on hoarding were also discussed in the meeting. PM has given strict directives to ensure that no one takes advantage of this situation through wrong practices.
“There should be no interruption in food supply in markets,” he said.
PM’s spokesman Nadeem Afzal Chan said that members of the National Assembly have access to data of poor families in their own constituencies and they could reach out to them to provide monetary assistance.