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ECC approves Rs50 bn relief package for small businesses reeling from coronavirus shock

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday approved a Rs50.69 billion relief package for small businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh presided over a meeting of the ECC in the capital.

The Ministry of Finance in a tweet said the Rs50.69 billion package is aimed to provide “indirect cash flow support to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) through pre-paid electricity.”

Separately, Federal Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar in a Twitter statement said the ECC today approved the package that will benefit 3.5 million small businesses. “For those with 5KW commercial or 70 KW industrial [power] connections, the govt will pay their electricity bills for up to 3 months after they restart,” he said.

He added power consumption data of traders from the past will be used as a benchmark for payment of their bills.

Read More: Govt allocates Rs75bn for daily wagers who lost jobs due to lockdown

The minister said 90 per cent of all commercial and 80 per cent of all industrial connections in the country will benefit from this “cash injection in their businesses.” The businesses that will benefit from the package are of micro, small and medium scale, he cleared.

Elaborating the nuts and bolts of the package, he said: “The sums deposited in their bills will stay valid for utilisation upto 6 months. The sum will be based on actual consumption and total payments made from the meter in the May, June, July 2019 period combined.”

Read More: ECC approves Rs 75bn relief package for labourers

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