–19 essential commodities will be provided to people at reduced rates, govt says
ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday announced a Ramzan package of Rs2.5 billion to provide relief to people during the holy month through the provision of essential commodities at discounted rates.
Addressing a press conference alongside Utility Stores Corporation (USC) Managing Director Umar Lodhi, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said under the package, 19 essential commodities will be provided to the people at reduced rates.
“If deemed necessary, the amount will be increased to Rs7 billion,” she said.
The package was approved in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday. According to an official, the government had come up with the package to ensure the sale of five essential items through Utility Stores at existing rates until the end of the holy month. The ECC was told that arrangements had been put in place in this regard.
According to the package, sugar will be sold at Rs68 per kg, wheat flour at Rs800 per 20kg, ghee at Rs170 per kg, gram pulses at Rs130 and two varieties of rice at Rs139 and Rs149 per kg, the meeting was informed.
The package will become effective on April 17, a week before the start of Ramzan.
Today, Dr Firdous said under the federal government’s Rs1.3 trillion relief and stimulus package, it was decided to reserve Rs50 billion for the utility stores. Rs10 billion have already been disbursed to USC in order to ensure that the utility outlets have sufficient stocks of the essential items, she added.
“A monitoring mechanism to ensure the availability of items at the utility stores will be put in place at the district level.”
USC MD Lodhi said the USC has a network of 4200 stores across the country. 200 more outlets will be added in the next 15 to 20 days. He said the USC is also planning on to establish 200 additional outlets after Ramzan with a focus on the rural areas.