In light of the the impact of Covid-19 on the food and agriculture industry in Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan has taken many significant measures to soften the economic impact of the virus. The measures so far include principally banning export of all edible items (the ban shall lapse on 31-05-2020 for export of Onions only) and the promulgation of laws for prevention of hoarding in respect of various essential items including food items and medicines, masks, sanitizers etc. The hoarding laws prescribes hoarding of scheduled items as stated therein as an offence punishable with simple imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine equivalent to 50% of the value of items involved. The State Bank of Pakistan also announced financial relief facilities, including inter alia, granting relief for agriculture farmers who are unable to service the mark-up amount or need deferment exceeding one year, allowing such finances to be rescheduled / restructured upon the request of the farmer and deferment and the repayment of principal loan amount by one year; provided that the obligor will continue to service the mark-up amount.
The Provincial Governments of Punjab and Balochistan have also taken measures of relief such as suspension of Cess on all items, including food items, imported into the Province of Punjab and Balochistan till June 2020.