Punjab unveils Rs10bn relief package for daily-wage earners

Updated 29 Mar 2020

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“The Punjab government is standing with the people who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of the coronavirus scourge,” said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. — DawnNewsTV/File
“The Punjab government is standing with the people who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of the coronavirus scourge,” said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Saturday announced a Rs10 billion relief package for financial support of 2.5 million families of daily-wage earners in addition to the financial support packages announced by the federal government. Each family will be given Rs4,000 financial assistance.

“The Punjab government is standing with the people who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of the coronavirus scourge,” he said.

Announcing the relief package during a press conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, he said the Punjab government had also decided to remove provincial taxes to the tune of Rs18bn as the nation was going through testing times in the wake of the threat from the virus.

The chief minister announced offering Shuhada Package to doctors and other health professionals who lose their lives in the line of duty while serving coronavirus patients in health facilities across the province.

Hailing doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals as heroes, the chief minister said the government had also decided to give one-month additional salary to them in recognition of their services in the war against coronavirus. The additional salary would be given under the head of “Special Risk Allowance”, he said.

CM says provincial taxes to tune of Rs18bn will also be removed

Mr Buzdar said the Punjab government had decided to use its special powers for granting 90-day imprisonment rebate to prisoners languishing in jails across the province. He said some 3,100 prisoners would get benefit from this concession. “This concession will not be available to the prisoners imprisoned on the charges of heinous crimes,” he said.

The chief minister said the Punjab government was preparing recommendations about the under-trial prisoners and would soon present them to the federal government for a decision.

Mr Buzdar said the Punjab Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Ordinance, 2020, had been implemented and would allow the civil administration and health department to implement government measures with complete ease and under the cover of law.

The chief minister told media personnel that 82 more cases of Covid-19 were reported in the province on Friday.

Meanwhile, Mr Buzdar earlier chaired a meeting in an open lawn of the Chief Minister’s Office, instead of a closed room to ensure protection from coronavirus.

Reviewing the recommendations and suggestions for the Punjab Financial Package for daily-wagers and labourers being affected from the lockdown, the meeting decided that the relief would be provided to affected people through Easy Paisa.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2020