The Khyber-Pakhtunkwa government is all set to launch a scheme of targeted subsidy on July 22, to ensure the availability of food items at affordable prices for all.
Advocate General Latif Yousafzai told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the K-P government has allocated Rs5 billion for introducing the targeted subsidy.
He informed the court that a high-level committee was formed by the provincial government to evolve a mechanism to ensure the availability of food at affordable prices.
AG K-P stated that in view of this scheme, the government will provide flour at Rs10 cheaper on every kilogramme of wheat purchased. He further said that there will be a Rs40 discount on every litre of cooking oil. Almost 850,000 families will benefit from this scheme meant for a year.
Meanwhile, other provinces failed to come up with a similar plan.
Additional Advocate General Sindh Shafi Muhammad Chandio submitted that the provincial government will introduce the subsidy for the purchase of wheat from the next financial year 2015-16 as in the current year, the government has already committed subsidy to the volume of Rs3 billion and is considering options to further increase it to Rs4.6 billion so as to maintain stability in wheat prices.”
“Approximately eight million people of 23 districts of the province will benefit from this scheme. However, major share will be transferred to the rural areas ensuring 100 per cent targeted subsidy to the neediest segment of society “, he further said.
AAG Sindh said the provincial government will opt for cash subsidy on wheat to beneficiaries already registered under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
The two-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, however, directed the other three provinces to devise a mechanism of targeted subsidy until August 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.