March 29, 2020 (MLN): The past week witnessed many challenging decisions taken by the government- but at a significant economic cost to support vulnerable households and businesses from the profound and serious impact of COVID-19 outbreak.
On Tuesday, the MPC of the SBP decided to cut the policy rate by a further 150 basis points to 11 percent in response to the evolving economic impact of the Coronavirus.
Furthermore, SBP also allowed all federal and provincial government departments, hospitals in public and private sectors, charitable organizations, manufacturers and commercial importers to make Import Advance Payment and Import on Open Account, without any limit, for the import of medical equipments, medicines and other ancillary items for the treatment of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the government reduced prices of petroleum products by Rs 15 per litre which would be financed through a reduction in Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) as per the statement of Ministry of Finance.
The same day, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that in view of the evolving situation due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the government had initiated negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an additional grant of $1.4 billion on fast-track basis.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has announced that the government is going to have the biggest wheat procurement this year which will inject Rs 280 billion in the market.
on Thursday, Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet approved funds worth billions of rupees to fight the spread of Coronavirus, civil work, FATA TDP emergency recovery project, and Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme.
Moreover, the Prime Minister after chairing a high-level meeting on energy sector said that no additional burden would be shifted to the gas consumers, rather steps would be taken to facilitate them under recently announced economic relief package.
On Friday, the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) asked the ministry concerned to take necessary steps to enhance the national storage capacity of petroleum products.
Meanwhile, SBP launched a Regulatory Approval System (RAS) for submission of cases related to foreign exchange policy and operations dealt by its Exchange Policy Department (EPD), SBP and Foreign Exchange Operations Department (FEOD), SBP-BSC respectively.
In addition to this, the Petroleum Division Friday clarified that there will be no change in petrol, diesel and other Petroleum (POL) products prices for the month of April,2020. The prices shall remain constant as were announced on March 25, 2020.
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