Punjab govt announces Rs5.5 bn Ramazan package

LAHORE: Punjab’s Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan announced a special Ramazan package worth Rs5.5 billion for the people of province.

Addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on consumer prices, he said the prime minister had appreciated the steps taken by the Punjab government for controlling inflation and price hike.

He said the prices of essential commodities, including chicken, fruits, pulses, vegetables, ghee and eggs would be reduced by 25 percent.

“We promised the people to keep the prices under control and now sugar will be made available at Rs 85 per kilogram as per the instructions of the prime minister,” he said.

He said the provincial government would procure wheat at the rate of Rs 1,800 per 40 kilograms on the prime minister’s directives by raising its support price by Rs 400.

“It was a record increase in the support price for the farmers, who were the backbone of the country’s economy, he said. The procurement of wheat had started from South Punjab and four to five million tonnes of wheat would be procured,” he added.

Aleem Khan said as per the prime minister’s desire, the 10 kg flour bag would be available in the special Ramazan bazaars for Rs 375. Similarly, he said, the price of sugar would be kept at Rs 85 per kg which was also endorsed by the courts.

The senior minister said across Punjab, the reduction in prices would be ensured with strict measures against profiteering. He said the prime minister was taking weekly reports from the Federal Bureau of Statistics on the prices of essential items.

He said it was unfortunate that the 20 kg flour bag was being sold at Rs 1,200 to Rs 1400 in Karachi. He asked the Sindh government to procure wheat at Rs2,000 per 40 kg and then give it to the flour mills at subsidized rates as it would ultimately benefit the consumer.

He stressed that the Sindh government should provide a special relief package to the citizens. The prices of everyday items should be the same in the whole country, he remarked.

Special Assistant Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the special Ramazan package would be worth Rs 5.5 billion and the items at reduced prices would be sold in 364 special Ramzan bazaars across the province.

The Ramazan bazaars, she said, would be later converted into Eid and Sahulat bazaars to provide inexpensive and quality products.

Dr Firdous said the mills in Punjab would have to provide 155 metric tonnes of sugar to the consumers. The government would cap the prices of essential items at the level of 2018 and further steps would be taken to avoid price hikes by the sugar mafia and other unscrupulous elements, she added.

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