Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Monday announced that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved separate packages for the unemployed labourers and small business owners in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in the country. Addressing a press conference after the ECC meeting, he said the packages will be presented before the federal cabinet on Tuesday (today) for approval. The minister said a Rs 75 billion package has been approved for the people unemployed due to the coronavirus crisis. He added that the Ehsaas programme, along with the Ministry for Industries and Production, will launch a portal to register the unemployed labourers. “Under the package, the unemployed will be provided with Rs 12,000 in installments,” he said, adding that the details of the package will be uploaded on the website after it is approved by the federal cabinet.Under the Rs 50.69 billion package titled as ‘Chota Karobar-o-Sannat Imadadi Package’, approximately 95 per cent commercial consumers with connected load up to 5 KW and 72 per cent of industrial consumers with connected load of up to 70 KW would be provided financial support. Under the scheme, commercial consumers would be given support up to Rs 100,000 and industrial consumers up to Rs 450,000 for three months. The base period for estimating electricity consumption will be May-July 2019 and for meters for which electricity consumption data is not available for the full base period, appropriate average will be used. To avail of the facility under the package, pre-paid electricity bills of three months or total bills during the base period will be required. The period of consumption of the extended financial support will be six months starting from May/June 2020.The ECC also allowed Rs 2.5 billion block allocation to the Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Biltistan for disbursement through special arrangement. It further instructed the Ministry of Industries and Production to bring up similar relief packages for the agriculture sector including the agricultural tubewells, as well as transporters and the microfinance sector. The ECC on a proposal by the Finance Division approved a credit loss subsidy of Rs 30 billion for the Risk Sharing Facility for State Bank of Pakistan’s Refinance Scheme to support employment and prevent lay-off of workers. Under the scheme, financing will be extended to businesses with maximum sales turnover of Rs 2 billion while the government of Pakistan will bear 40 per cent first loss on distributed portfolio (principal portion only) for eligible borrowers, in case of repayments, after being classified as ‘loss’ as per classification criteria under the respective SBP Prudential Regulations.On a proposal by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the ECC accorded in principle approval to the external debt restructuring of the government of Pakistan by availing the G-20 debt relief and engaging with bilateral donors for individual debt suspension with the proviso that agreements to that effect could be subsequently brought to the ECC for approval.On another proposal by the Ministry of Defence, the ECC approved allocation of additional funds in the form of technical supplementary grant to the tune of Rs 3.02 billion for the fencing of Pak-Iran border.