“A large number of people are benefiting from the Ramazan package at the Utility Stores, way more that that last year,” Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said on Sunday. He was talking to reporters at the State Guest House after presiding over a meeting held to review the Ramazan Package at the Utility Stores throughout the country.
Expressing satisfaction with the popularity of Ramazan package, Elahi said that Utility Stores were providing relief to the people by providing quality items at subsidised rates.
He said compared to these stores, people visiting the unregulated markets and the Ramazan Bazaars in the Punjab, had been complaining of high prices.
He said they (people) were being “baton charged by their khadam-i-aala”. He said compared to the Utility Stores, Ramazan Bazaars in the Punjab wore a deserted look due to high prices and mismanagement. He said that a cell had been established for monitoring the facilities at the Utility Stores. Ministers, parliamentarians and party leaders have also been asked to visit these stores and monitor them, he said. Elahi said he will also pay surprise visits to the Utility Stores.
Earlier, during the meeting, the deputy prime minister warned that the flour mills supplying substandard flour will be blacklisted forever.
He also announced a bonus for all Utility Stores employees if the Ramazan package was successful.
He said the government was planning to give tuberculosis patients and Benazir Income Support Programme card holders more discounts at these stores. More ladies’ counters and waiting rooms will also be set up, he said.
He directed the Utility Stores management to open the stores on holidays and extend the working hours to facilitate customers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2012.