Thursday Apr 09 2020
Web Desk

Rs2.5bn Ramazan package announced, prices of basic food items to be reduced

Web Desk
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) Managing Director Umer Lodhi brief the media through video conferencing in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 9, 2020. APP/APP12-09

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday announced a Ramazan package worth Rs2.5 billion to provide essential commodities to the public at reduced rates through the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) during the holy month.

Speaking during a news conference via, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said 19 essential commodities would be provided at reduced rates under this package. It would remain effective through Eid-ul-Fitr and may be bumped up to Rs7 billion if required.

The subsidy on five essential items would be carried forward after the Eid as well, Dr Awan mentioned, according to Radio Pakistan.

Speaking about the Ramazan package, USC Managing Director Umer Lodhi said there would be subsidy worth Rs15-20 on gram flour and pulses. Similarly, subsidies would be offered on items commonly used in Ramazan, such as squashes, sugar, tea, and milk.

Lodhi added that the USC was set to add 200 new outlets to its 4,200-outlet network across the country over the next two or three weeks.

Referring to the Rs1.2-trillion package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr Awan said it was decided that Rs50 billion from that sum would be given to the USC and that Rs10 billion had already been disbursed to ensure the utility outlets had sufficient stocks.

The special assistant explained that a mechanism to monitor the stock levels and availability of items at the utility stores would be installed at the district level.

The government was implementing measures to ensure the society's vulnerable segments were safeguarded from the negative impacts of coronavirus, she added. Accordingly, she said cash disbursements worth Rs12,000 were being given to deserving families under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme.

Dr Awan vowed that the nation would overcome the coronavirus crisis through collective efforts.