ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday announced a package to provide daily-use commodities at a discounted rate at the utility stores in Ramazan.

The Ministry of Industries has allocated around Rs5 billion for the package that will be available to both targeted and general consumers.

An amount of Rs1.15bn has been set aside for subsidies to targeted consumers — those registered with the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) — while Rs3.84bn will be spent on providing items at discounted rates to general consumers.

The subsidy will be available on selected commodities like vegetable ghee, tea, flour, sugar, milk, beverages, dates and gram flour at utility stores across the country.

Consumers will get 19 food items at subsidised rates

Addressing a press conference, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud said the relief package has been rolled out on Tuesday. He added that the number of subsidised items has been increased to 19. These included flour, ghee, sugar, cooking oil, tea, dates, besan, dal mash, dal mung, milk, drinks, spices etc.

Replying to a question, the minister acknowledged that the subsidy was not enough keeping in view the inflation, but reasoned that the economic situation constrained the government’s plans.

The package has been divided into targeted subsidies and general subsidies, he added. The targeted subsidy will only be provided to consumers registered with the BISP while other people will be able to avail general subsidy.

To targeted consumers, a 10kg bag of wheat flour will be available at Rs400, sugar at Rs70 per kg and ghee at Rs300 per kg. Under the general subsidy, a 10kg bag of wheat flour will be available at Rs648, sugar at Rs91 per kg and ghee at Rs490 per kg.

The minister said that the prime minister has also an­nounced a package to provide free flour for BISP beneficiaries in Islamabad. Under the package, distribution points have been set up at utility stores and other areas of the federal capital to provide free flour.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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