PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister Kamran Khan Bangash has announced the launch of Ehsaas Ration programme saying Rs20 billion relief from high prices will be provided to the people in the province.

Addressing a news conference here on Tuesday, the minister said Rs13 billion was the share of the provincial government in the programme, while the federal government would contribute Rs7 billion to it.

He said that Ehsaas Ration programme would continue for more than six months and would benefit the poor people on their doorstep.

Mr Bangash said the government would chalk out a mechanism for the fair distribution of relief package. He said efforts were under way at the national and international level to reduce prices of essential commodities.

The minister blamed coronavirus pandemic for spike in the prices of commodities including food items.

He said departmental and provision stores in rural and urban areas of the province would be utilised for the Ehsaas Ration programme.

Mr Bangash said around three million households would benefit from the Ehsaas Ration programme, however, the provincial government has planned to increase the number of beneficiaries to 30 million population.

He said inflation was an international issue that engulfed the whole world.

“Globally, inflation has increased up to 50 per cent, while in Pakistan, the ration is only nine per cent,” he said.

The minister claimed that inflation rate in Pakistan was lower than regional countries, including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He said national economy relied on imports and the government needed time to keep balance in imports and exports.

“The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had given Rs11 billion subsidy on wheat during the financial year 2020-21 compared to Rs3 billion in 2018-19,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2021

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