Imtiaz Sheikh says relief in taxes for traders also probable
Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Sheikh said that the provincial government is preparing a relief package for small-scale businessmen who have suffered financially during the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of COVID-19 cases is nearing the 10,000-mark in Pakistan and 191 patients have died so far. The country has been in a state of lockdown for a month.
In Sindh, traders have been in talks with the government to either allow them to open shops or give them financial relief.
Speaking on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Wednesday, the energy minister stressed that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah is well aware of the business community’s reservations.
“As far as I know, the chief minister has approved giving relief in taxes to traders,” said Sheikh. “[The chief minister] had also discussed with the Centre about giving financial compensation to small-scale businesses.”
For this purpose, the Sindh Revenue Board and Excise and Taxation Department will be taken aboard as well.
Speaking about the province-wide restrictions and people violating them, Sheikh claimed that no one has been arrested in Sindh under Section 144.
“A few people who were found gathering were fined and sent home, but not a single person was apprehended,” the minister said.
The Section 144 prohibits residents from going out of their houses unless necessary. It doesn’t allow more than five people to gather in one place.