–Rs 192bn allocated for social protection under Ehsaas Programme
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the government would not allow anybody to put the burden of corruption and administrative mismanagement in institutions on the common man.
The prime minister was chairing a meeting to review the impact of the subsidies in various sectors to provide relief to the low-income and downtrodden segments of the society.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Minister for Planning Asad Omar, Adviser on Commerce Abdur Razak Dawood, Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and high officials.
The meeting was briefed about the provision of subsidies by the government in energy, food and fertilizers sectors, besides the Ehsaas programme for social protection, provision of the amount and its usage to increase exports, and promotion of higher education.
The prime minister said apart from the provision of subsidy, it should be ensured that the amount provided should be utilized for the specific purpose, and was fruitful for the people concerned. He also stressed the need to review the effects of the subsidies.
The PM expressed satisfaction over the success of the staff-level agreement with the International Monitory Fund (IMF), saying the IMF’s “trust in the government’s economic policies and its direction, with protection to the people in the current fiscal year was the success of government”.
He directed the Energy Division to fully concentrate on busting big power thieves, besides taking action against the people involved in illegal profiteering so that the people could be protected from electricity theft, flaws in the system and exploitation.
The meeting was told that the basic purpose of providing subsidies by the government was to provide relief to the low-income segments of the society, promotion of industries, and to access to the higher education.
It was also informed that as a whole Rs 251bn subsidy was being provided to the energy sector. About Rs162bn had been allocated for the current fiscal year to provide subsidy to those domestic consumers who utilized up to 300 electricity units.
Similarly, Rs8.5bn was earmarked to provide subsidy for tube wells (agriculture) in Balochistan while Rs18bn was being provided to the people of merged tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs3bn to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Rs25bn to the K-Electric.
To provide electricity and gas to the industrial sector at reasonable rates, Rs 10 billion and Rs 24 billion had been allocated. The meeting was told that billions of rupees subsidy was being provided to keep prices of wheat and flour in control.
Rs5bn had been allocated to ensure strategic resources, Rs8bn for payment of arrears of wheat in Gilgit-Baltistan, Rs 2.5bn for the Utility Stores for Ramzan Package and Rs 21bn subsidy under the head of the Prime Minister Relief Package. Rs6bn had been allocated under the wheat package for Gilgit-Baltistan during the current fiscal year, it was told.
The meeting was informed that Rs 192bn had been allocated for social protection under the Ehsaas Programme while full details of the amount provided for Kafalat, Waseela Taleem, Undergraduate Scholarships, poverty alleviation, shifting of assets and interest-free loans were also presented. It was informed about the amount allocated for increase in exports and railways.