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Tax exemptions, subsides to be given to counter economic slowdown: Hafeez Shaikh

Tax exemptions, subsides to be given to counter economic slowdown: Hafeez Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday said that Pakistan’s economy was on the stability path but the ongoing coronavirus has affected it likewise it caused losses to the global economy.

“Global losses due to the spread of the virus have reached upto US$300 billion,” he said.

The adviser said that they have devised a three-pronged strategy to deal with the ongoing situation. “Although our exports might suffer due to the ongoing crisis, however, the oil prices will also go down bringing a relief in payments,” he said.

Hafeez Shaikh said that initially they have decided to import the medical equipment including ventilators needed to tackle the virus from international markets. “We also want to give a relief package to the masses having a less impact on the economy, mainly comprising of tax exemptions and subsidies,” he said.

The adviser said that a joint strategy was needed to move forward in the ongoing situation as they plan to expedite development works to improve employment prospects in the country.

He said that they would mull over tax exemption and subsidies on products as medical equipment currently tops their priority.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan on Friday reported its third coronavirus death as 77-year-old patient passed away in Karachi, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho confirmed.

Sindh health minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho in a video statement said the patient was a cancer survivor and had diabetes and hypertension but did not have any travel history.

Meanwhile, Gilgit-Baltistan reported new cases of the novel coronavirus today, pushing the total number of COVID-19 patients to 458 in Pakistan.

There are 245 confirmed cases in Sindh, Balochistan 81, Punjab 80, K-P 23, Gilgit-Baltistan 21, Islamabad five and Azad Jammu and Kashmir one.