ISLAMABAD: The government has announced Ramazan package worth Rs2.5 billion for the provision of essential commodities at reduced rates through the Utility Stores Corporation during the holy month.
Addressing a news conference along with the Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Ramazan package could be increased to seven billion rupees if required and will remain effective until Eid-ul-Fitr.
The special assistant said nineteen essential commodities will be provided to the people at reduced rates under this package, and the subsidy on five essential items will be carried forward after the Eid.
She said under the prime minister’s relief package, it was decided to provide Rs50 billion rupees to the Utility Stores Corporation. She added that ten billion rupees have already been disbursed to the corporation to ensure sufficient stocks of essential items at the stores. A monitoring mechanism regarding availability of items at the utility stores will be put in place at the district level.
The special assistant said government is taking steps to protect the vulnerable segments of society from the negative impacts of coronavirus. For this purpose, cash disbursements of Rs12,000 each to deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Cash program have been started. She said the nation will overcome the coronavirus challenge through collective efforts.
Giving details of the Ramazan package, USC Managing Director Umer Lodhi said there will be a subsidy of 15 to 20 rupees on besan (gram flour) and pulses and on items commonly used in Ramazan such as squashes, sugar, tea and milk.
He said the USC has a network of 4200 outlets across the country, while 200 more outlets will be added in the next fifteen to twenty days. He said they plan to establish 200 outlets after Ramazan focusing on rural areas. He said the quality of products is being ensured at the utility outlets.