ISLAMABAD:The federal government on Friday decided to immediately provide Rs 6 billion to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to ensure the provision of basic commodities to the masses on subsidized and cheaper rates.
The decision was taken during a meeting held here with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair regarding reduction in the prices of daily use items and providing relief to the people.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Special Assistant on Social Welfare Dr Sania Nishter, secretaries and additional secretaries of the ministries of Finance, Planning, Communication, National Food Security and Industries, USC chairman and managing director, Chief Commissioner Islamabad and other senior officers.
The prime minister said being the provision of relief to the masses as its foremost priority, the government was fully striving to give special relief to low income people and the poverty-stricken families.
He said with the economic indicators showing improvement, the economy had stabilized due to hard decisions taken by the government in difficult economic situation. The coming days, he added, would witness further improvement in the economy.
The prime minister said despite difficulties the government would continue to make every possible effort to provide relief to the masses.
He directed the Utility Stores administration that after the provision of Rs 6 billion by the government, it should ensure the provision of basic essential commodities to the people as soon as possible.
The prime minister was briefed about the current situation and prices of basic essential commodities, including wheat flour, ghee, sugar, rice and pulses as well as the measures for reducing the prices of those commodities.
The USC chairman and managing director told the meeting that the provision of Rs 6 billion to the corporation immediately would help bring significant decrease in the prices of basic essential commodities.
The prime minister was told that the immediate provision of funds by the government would enable the Utility Stores to reduce prices of various essential commodities, including wheat flour by Rs 132 per 20 kg bag, sugar by Rs 9 per kg, ghee by Rs 30 per kg, rice by Rs 20 per kg and pulses by Rs 15 per kg.
He was also briefed in detail about the measures being taken to check corruption at the Utility Stores, embezzlement of goods, and to ensure the ample provision of essential items to masses.
The prime minister was told that complete transparency in the whole process from the procurement of goods in bulk to their transportation to warehouses and the onward supply to the Utility Stores after special packing was being ensured.
He was further told that the purpose of those measures was not only to check corruption from the Utility Stores but also ensure the quality of goods.
The prime minister directed the USC to use information technology for complete elimination of corruption from the Utility Stores.
Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said besides the network of 4000 Utility Stores, 800 post offices from across the county could also be used for the provision of basic essential commodities to the masses.
He said for the provision of essential items to the masses at their doorsteps, the Pakistan Post would launch a home delivery service soon.