Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided in principle to provide flour, ghee, cooking oil, pulses, rice and sugar at a low price to the poor segment of society for the next financial year.
Chairing a high-level meeting on utility stores in Islamabad on Monday, he said the poor segment of society is in dire need of relief at this time, and the government will take all measures in this regard.
The Prime Minister also approved the expansion of utility stores network in Karachi.
He asked the authorities concerned to present a comprehensive plan to increase the number of utility stores in Karachi within two weeks.
Shehbaz Sharif directed to make the subsidy system transparent and digital. He asked to create a comprehensive system by combining various types of subsidies.
The Prime Minister appreciated the initiatives of utility stores in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. He also appreciated the provision of targeted subsidy with the help of digital system.
The meeting was briefed on the progress made on subsidy on utility stores, targeted subsidy to the poor, expansion of number of utility stores across the country and provision of low price flour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The meeting was informed that the Utility Store Corporation is currently operating 3822 stores directly and 1380 franchises in the country. It was apprised that more than 300 new stores will be set up in Balochistan, Sindh, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Punjab by 30th of the next month.
The meeting was briefed that under the relief package of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, 113 million deserving people have been benefited so far. They have been given targeted subsidy of 60 rupees per kg on flour, 21 rupees on sugar, 250 rupees on ghee and 15-20 rupees on pulses and rice. The subsidy mechanism is digital whereas NADRA and the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation are linked to the data.
The meeting was further informed that supply of low price flour is being ensured at 942 utility stores in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On the special directive of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, 1000 new selling points and 200 mobile stores are also being added.
In Balochistan, subsidized supply of essential commodities is being ensured not only utility stores but mobile stores have also been set up to ensure the supply to remote areas.
Source: Radio Pakistan