ISLAMABAD: Days after announcing a Ramazan package that would allow needy people to buy essential items at subsidised rates from all Utility Stores across the country, PM Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday enhanced its quantum from Rs7.5 billion to Rs12.5bn.

A PM Office statement on Sunday said the premier also ordered enhancing the outreach of the package, and that along with Utility Stores and the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), mobile units would provide edible items at subsidised rates across the country.

In the initial phase, 1,200 mobile points and 300 permanent package relief centres would be set up to provide different edible items to people at prices below the market rate during Ramazan.

Besides designated places, trucks would supply foodstuff to different places using teh GPS technology, the statement said.

Utility Stores, BISP mobile units to provide food items at 30pc discount

Under the package, some 39.6 million people would be provided food items during the holy month at a 30pc subsidy.

The items under BISP include flour, rice, pulses, ghee, sugar, syrup and milk. The subsidy on flour and on ghee would be Rs77 per kg and Rs100 per kg, respectively.

PM thanks felicitators

Also on Sunday, PM Shehbaz thanked Maldives President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wikre­mesinghe, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina for their congratulatory messages on his election as prime minister.

In separate posts on X, the prime minister thanked the president of the Maldives and said that Pakistan remained committed to deepening its relations with the Maldives.

Similarly, in another post on his X account, Mr Sharif expressed gratitude to Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ for his letter of felicitations on his election as the prime minister of Pakistan.

Mr Sharif said he looked forward to working closely with him to realise the true potential of cooperation between Pakistan and Nepal.

In a related post, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in response to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s congratulatory message, said that he looked forward to working with her to further strengthen the Pakistan-Bangladesh relationship.

To a message of felicitation from President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wikre­mesinghe, the prime minister said that he was confident that relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka would continue to grow from strength to strength during the days ahead.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2024

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