Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar said Sunday his ministry would present a support package for little businesses to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) tomorrow (Monday) to assist cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Azhar said his ministry was also developing a collateral-free financing scheme for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for a second phase of the relief package.

“That phase would also include targeted/prioritised relief measures for sectors most hit by COVID-19,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that “millions of small businesses and industries shall get pleasure from this package” once approved by the cupboard and also the ECC.

Earlier in the week, the ECC had approved Rs75 billion for targeted payments to the low-income groups, especially labourers and daily wagers severely full of the coronavirus lockdown in Pakistan.

According to a press release released Wednesday by the govt., an estimated six million people were expected to profit from the scheme adds to the 12-million labour population already targeted via the Kifalat programme.

The amount was obtained from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s COVID-19 Relief Package of Rs200 billion, the govt. had said, and was approved during an ECC meeting chaired by PM’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

Azhar’s ministry, alongside the Poverty Alleviation and Social Sector Development Division (PASSD), was tasked to jointly see comprehensive mechanisms and modalities to make sure a transparent and efficient disbursement of support to the deserving people, the statement had said.

It is noteworthy that the federal cabinet had last month approved an Rs1.2-trillion economic relief package because the coronavirus crisis worsened.