ISLAMABAD: The federal finance ministry has Monday released details on the designed Rs1,240 billion Covid relief fund the government had announced last year as a stimulus to offset the probable damages of the Covid pandemic that had only begun spreading in its earliest phase, ARY News reported.
Out of the announced stimulus package, the government released Rs875 billion or 70 per cent of the total stimulus in various sectors of the economy while the remaining amount has yet to be realized.
According to the numbers, Rs510.1 billion (41 pc of the total budget and 58 pc of total expenditure) were used as cash handouts to the lower-income class for their sustenance. The remaining Rs365 budget was supposed to be part of the cash program.
Under a different head, from the Rs200 billion budget devised for daily wagers’ support, only a chunk of Rs16 billion was materialized, while from the Rs50 billion budget for the utility stores only Rs16 billions were loosened, the numbers said.
On the other hand, the stimulus package for exporters, the government under then finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh announced Rs100 billion and Rs86 billion were realized from that head.
Other heads and funds released in them according to the ministry numbers today are:
- Small and medium enterprises were designated Rs51 billion all of which were released.
- Rs145 billion were released for shelter homes and poverty-stricken households out of Rs150 billion
- For Agriculture, Rs15.6 billion were released out of Rs49 billion budget
- Rs60.6 billion released from Rs100 billion budget tagged for emergency funds
- To subsidize energy, i.e. power and gas, Rs56 billion were released from the Rs100 billion budget
- A full Rs25 billion budget was released for NDMA
- The Rs15 billion for tax reliefs on food, health items were released in full
- Rs70 billion for petrol/diesel relief were released
- Rs280 billion were released for the purchase of wheat
It may be noted the stimulus package was part of the fiscal year 2019-20.