ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to provide Rs6 billion relief to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) by Monday in order to ensure provision of essential items, including flour, ghee, sugar, rice and pulses, to the people at lower rates.
The decision was taken during a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, on reducing the prices of essential commodities to provide relief to the common man in Islamabad on Friday.
Addressing the participants, PM Imran said, “It is the priority of the government to provide relief to the masses. It is our utmost effort to provide special relief to the lower-income and poverty-stricken groups.”
PM Imran said the government took tough decisions in view of the difficult economic situation, adding that these decisions; however, helped stabilise the economy.
“The economic indicators have improved and these will improve further in the days to come. Despite the difficult situation, every possible effort will be made to provide relief to the masses,” Imran added.
He directed the USC administration to ensure immediate provision of essential commodities to the people after receiving the amount of Rs6 billion.
Minister for Communications Murad Saeed apprised the meeting that the vast network of Pakistan Post could also be used to provide essential commodities to the masses.
He said, “Pakistan Post will also launch a home delivery service to supply essential items to the people at their doorstep.”
USC Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Khan and Managing Director Umar Lodhi informed the PM that the provision of Rs6 billion to the corporation would help bring down the prices of essential commodities.
They said the funds would help reduce the price of 20 kilogrammes flour bag by Rs132, sugar by Rs9 per kg, ghee by Rs30 per kg, rice by Rs20 per kg and the prices of pulses would also go down by Rs15.
They said steps were being taken to check corruption at the USC and ensure adequate supplies of essential commodities at the utility outlets.
Imran directed them to use information technology to check corruption at the utility stores.
The meeting also decided to provide ‘relief cards’ to the poor people. However, the date for issuing the relief cards was not revealed during the meeting.
Relief for industrial, other consumers
Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said measures were being considered to provide relief to industrial and other consumers.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Friday, he said electricity consumers were given subsidy of Rs226 billion in budget.
The minister said a special subsidy was given to agricultural consumers using less than 300 units of electricity.
He said, “A subsidised rates package will also be introduced for domestic and commercial consumers. Subsidised rate of Rs11.97 per unit will be available for consumers using additional units.”
Ayub said 31.19 per cent consumers would avail the subsidised rates.