KARACHI: Business community has welcomed the relief package of around Rs1.2 trillion announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan to ward off the negative impact of coronavirus.
Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli and President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, while warmly welcoming Prime Minister’s financial relief package of around Rs1.2 trillion announced to ward off the negative impact of coronavirus, said that it was undoubtedly a very good initiative but an effective mechanism was immediately needed for implementation of this package that ensures smooth transfer of financial support to the poor and deserving segment of society including workers, labors, daily wage and handcart earners etc.
“We are too concerned about hundreds and thousands of poor labors, daily wage and handcart earners as majority of these workers are neither registered with PM’s Ehsaas Program nor with the industries as they are usually outsourced hence, the government will have to come up with some kind of an effective mechanism in consultation with business & industrial community so that our poor brothers and sisters in distress could immediately start receiving financial relief during the ongoing difficult circumstances caused by the lethal coronavirus”, said Siraj Teli and Agha Shahab in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.
They advised the government to publicize and provide details to all the Chambers, Trade associations and concerned individuals about the criteria and strategy to be followed for implementation of Rs1.2 trillion financial relief package.
Chairman BMG and President KCCI further appealed all the businessmen, industrialists and traders of Karachi to extend full support to all their poor workers who must not be left alone and it has to be ensured at any cost that not a single worker or his/ her family member suffers starvation during the lockdown.
“We are socially, morally and religiously bound to help out and assist the poor people who are unable to come out of their homes to earn their bread and butter because of the widespread coronavirus pandemic hence, we all have to express unity and brotherhood with them by providing food and rations as per their requirements and according to our capacity”, they added.
Referring to Governor State Bank’s decision to slash the interest rate by another 150 basis points to 11 percent, they said that although some progress has been made by reducing the interest rate, but it should have been brought down to single digit to at least 9 percent as countries around the world have reduced their interest rates and many of these countries have gone down to zero and even minus due to the prevailing global recession.
“In our opinion, the high interest rate is overshadowing PM’s financial relief package so it would be better to bring it down to single digit”, they said, adding that the Finance Team of Prime Minister Imran Khan must stop worrying about IMF and announce relief measures irrespective of considering the fiscal space or capacity, but relief has to be given exactly as per extra ordinary circumstances emerging due to coronavirus.