PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Tuesday approved the release of wheat to flour mills in the province at subsided rates to ensure the availability of 20 kilogrammes of flour at the rate of Rs860 on the market.
Spokesman for the government Kamran Bangash told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the government had allowed the food department to begin the supply of wheat to flour mills immediately to prevent shortages and price spike.
He said the step would bring down prices and ensure availability of wheat and flour to millers and people.
Mr Bangash said since the province depended on Punjab for wheat needs, the chief minister directed the food department to chalk out plans to ensure food availability in the province.
He said the cabinet approved Rs860 as the retail price of a 20kg flour bag, while wheat price had been fixed at Rs1,475 per 40kg.
CM aide says move to ensure sale of 20kg flour bag at Rs860
A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat here said the chief minister expressed dissatisfaction with the food department’s failure to achieve set targets of wheat procurement.
He directed the department to produce a detailed report in the cabinet’s next meeting about the reasons for not meeting the wheat procurement targets.
Mr Mahmood declared food security the top priority of his government and directed the relevant quarters to prepare a comprehensive plan to make the province self-sufficient in wheat production.
Meanwhile, Mr Bangash said the cabinet also approved a relief package of Rs4 billion tax relief for the construction sector of the province.
He announced the waiver of two per cent of local council tax and 0.5 per cent other taxes.
“The provincial government will provide Rs4 billion to offset the economic impact of this move on local councils,” he said.
The chief minister’s aide said the cabinet approved exemption of the tourism sector from the licence fee for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the draft Public Private Partnership Bill to remove hurdles to investment in the province.
He said the amended legislation would promote and encourage private sector investment by making the relevant processes much easier.
Mr Bangash said the cabinet also endorsed the decision of handover of the 85 government rest houses to the tourism department to boost tourist activities in the province by facilitating local and foreign tourists.
He said the cabinet accorded approval to the necessary amendments to the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969, to regulate three-wheeler Quingqi rickshaws.
The chief minister’s aide said the cabinet while agreeing in principle to the proposal of federal government to develop a uniform curriculum across the country, authorised the the education minister to share the viewpoint of the government in the relevant meeting to be held at the national level.
He said the cabinet approved the withdrawal of a notification of district scrutiny and clearance committee constituted for identification of developmental schemes in the merged districts under the Accelerated Implementation Programme.
Mr Bangash said the cabinet gave post facto approval to the formation of the Inquiry Commission for conducting inquiry into the audio tape case of former adviser to CM Ajmal Wazir.
He said the cabinet approved the name of Professor Mohammad Arif for appointment as the chief executive officer, Post Graduate Medical Institute Peshawar, and the name of Rashid Khan for appointment as chairman of the Text Book Board, Peshawar.
The meeting discussed in detail matters related to the reopening of the educational institutional in the province in light of the decision of National Command and Operation Centre and decided that any final decision to the effect would be taken after Eid.
The chief minister directed the departments to ensure the formal approval of all development schemes reflected in the new annual developmental programme from the relevant forums within three months.
Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2020