ISLAMABAD: On Friday, the PTI-led federal government presented its third annual budget in National Assembly.
A budget termed "pro-people, business-friendly, and growth-oriented" was presented by the federal minister for finance Shaukat Tarin. Among other sectors, the government allocated a substantial amount of sum for countering the COVID-19.
Tarin announced that the government has earmarked 1.1 billion dollars for importing the COVID-19 vaccine besides providing funding for local production of anti-COVID vaccine. He said it is estimated that over one hundred million people will be vaccinated by June next year.
As of today, only 2.5 million Pakistanis have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus infection. So the target set by the government for next year is quite ambitious but is a task that must be achieved at all costs because there is no other way of defeating the lethal flu bug except attaining herd immunity.
Furthermore, the minister said that one hundred billion rupees have been proposed to meet exigencies related to COVID-19.
Announcing the Covid incentives, the federal minister said that the exemptions given on COVID-19 medical equipment or items have been extended for a further six months. Additional 35 raw materials required in the manufacturing of these items have also been exempted from customs duties so that supply of COVID-19 related medicines is ensured at affordable prices.
According to the budget document issued, tax exemption is also being given on the import of auto-disable syringes, their raw materials, and oxygen cylinders to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19.