PF: Punjab Forum demands welfare programme for poorSeptember 4, 2013
Islamabad: Majority of the Pakistanis who are poor are the worst affected due to high inflation, deteriorating currency and sliding economy which calls for urgent welfare measures by the government, the Punjab Forum said Wednesday.
Parliament should pass food security bill as approved by the Indian Parliament because the food prices of are flying high out of the sight, said Baig Raj, President of the Punjab Forum.
Pakistan should also target poor through a multi-billion rupee programme offering subsidised grains to almost 60 per cent of the population that finds difficult to get enough food, he said. He said that presently, prices of ‘Roti’ is being increased almost daily and there are indications that flourmill owners, wholesalers, retail shopkeepers and ‘Naanbais’ are all hand in glove. Baig Raj said that the mafia will take full advantage of weakness of the government and district administrations to ensure a windfall while innocent masses will pay the price.
Some bakers did not increase prices but decreased the weight of ‘naan’ and ‘roti’ to 70 grams instead of the official weight of 100 grams which speaks volumes about the control of the government, he added. He said that the masses were at the mercy of hoarders and profiteers in absence of any remedial measures by the government therefore rulers should accept their incompetence and start a programme to provide relief to the poor.
Baig Raj observed that food prices have been soaring abnormally across Pakistan due to corruption riddled and inefficient bureaucracy, shortage of food storage facilities and failure of government to control exports and smuggling of wheat.
Baig Raj said that Benazir Income Support Programme was nothing but a way to bribe voters while those who were running it committed corruption to the tune of billions. Pakistan’s economy needs better business confidence, market-opening reforms, reduced inflation and proper investment, he said.