The Federal Finance Ministry released details on the designated Rs. 1,240 billion COVID-19 relief fund, on Monday. The government had announced this fund last year as a stimulus to offset the probable damages of the pandemic.
The government released Rs. 875 billion, or 70 percent, of the total, announced package amount for various sectors of the economy, while the remaining amount has yet to be realized.
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According to the data released by the government, Rs. 510.1 billion (41 percent of the total budget and 58 percent of total expenditure) were used as cash handouts to the lower-income class for their sustenance. The remaining Rs. 365 budget was supposed to be part of the cash program.
Under a different head, from the Rs. 200 billion budget devised for daily wagers’ support, only a chunk of Rs. 16 billion was materialized, while from the Rs. 50 billion budget for the utility stores only Rs. 16 billion were loosened, the numbers said.
On the other hand, the stimulus package for exporters, the government under then the Finance Minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, announced Rs. 100 billion and Rs. 86 billion were realized from that head.
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Other heads and funds released in them according to the ministry numbers today are:
- Small and medium enterprises were designated Rs. 51 billion all of which were released.
- Rs. 145 billion were released for shelter homes and poverty-stricken households out of Rs. 150 billion.
- For Agriculture, Rs. 15.6 billion were released out of Rs. 49 billion budget
- Rs. 60.6 billion released from Rs. 100 billion budget tagged for emergency funds.
- To subsidize energy, i.e. power and gas, Rs. 56 billion were released from the Rs. 100 billion budget.
- A full Rs. 25 billion budget was released for NDMA.
- The Rs. 15 billion for tax reliefs on food, health items were released in full.
- Rs. 70 billion for petrol/diesel relief were released.
- Rs. 280 billion were released for the purchase of wheat.