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Tuesday Jun 15 2021

Govt to introduce subsidy for the poor to buy essential items next month: PM Imran Khan


  • Weaker segments to be provided subsidy for buying essential items, says Prime Minister Imran Khan
  • Introduction of targeted subsidy system aims to provide financial assistance to millions of families in buying basic essential commodities.
  • Special Assistant to the PM on Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar says with completion of 92% of Ehsaas Survey, remaining work will be completed by end of this month.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government is committed to provide financial resources to help weaker segments of society buy basic essential commodities through a targeted subsidy, says Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He gave instructions to finalize a new system at the earliest so that it could be formally launched from next month.

PM Khan was presiding over a briefing held on Monday about introducing a new system of providing government subsidy to the weaker segments of society.

Read more: Govt to carve out more slabs for electricity consumers to reduce subsidy burden

Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, special assistants to PM Dr Sania Nishtar, Dr Waqar Masood, Dr Shehbaz Gill, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Arif Usmani and other relevant officers were in attendance.

Nishtar briefed the PM about the proposed system of providing targeted subsidy. She told the meeting that with the completion of 92% of the Ehsaas Survey, the remaining work will be completed by the end of this month.

The NBP president also briefed the meeting about the proposed system of providing a government subsidy to deserving families.

The meeting was told that the introduction of a targeted subsidy system aims to provide financial assistance to millions of families in buying basic essential commodities.

Read more: Law for weak and strong should be the same, says PM Imran Khan

The prime minister, while appreciating the efforts of the concerned in formulating the system of targeted subsidy, said that the provision of a government subsidy to the rich and poor alike was not only a waste of public resources, but also tantamount to usurping the right of the poor and deserving.

Tarin unveils govt’s aggressive 'bottoms-up' approach to transfer 'real benefits' to poor

The "trickle-down" approach to helping the poor in macroeconomic policy has never translated into "real relief" for the most downtrodden, Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin had proclaimed on the floor of the National Assembly as he presented the government's proposed budget for FY2021-22 last week.

Tarin said beginning next fiscal year, the government will instead pursue a "bottom-up approach" for the 4-6 million households most vulnerable to the vagaries of the economy.

Read more: Government targets 4.8% growth in 'people-friendly' 2021-22 budget

The package, which aims to provide substantial sums of credit, free of interest for the large part, to the most vulnerable segments of society (details below), will be aimed at empowering the poor to take charge of their own welfare.

Under the approach:

  • Every non-farming household will be provided interest-free loans of up to Rs500,000 to start a business;
  • Every farming family will be given a sum of Rs150,000 to help harvest new crop as an interest-free loan. A further Rs200,000, also free of interest, will be provided to purchase tractors and farm machinery;
  • All vulnerable households will be given low-interest loans of Rs2 million as part of a low-cost housing scheme so they can become home owners;
  • Every household will be provided the Insaf Sehat Card;
  • And one member of every household will be provided free technical training.