Govt to Provide Targeted Subsidies on Essential Commodities from This Month: Finance Minister

Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin, has said that the government would start giving targeted subsidies from this month to the weak segments of society on essential commodities, including sugar, flour, and pulses.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Farrukh Habib, and Special Assistant on Food Security, Jamshed Cheema, he said that the targeted subsidy would be in the form of cash assistance which will cover thirty-five to forty percent of the population.

The Finance Minister said that the government is also focusing on bolstering agricultural productivity. In the medium to long term, commodity warehouses, cold storage, and agri malls will be established to eliminate the role of middlemen and ensure that the farmers get the due price of their products. He said strategic reserves of major commodities are also being built to ensure smooth supplies in the market.

The Finance Minister said that the prices of wheat would see a decline in the coming days. He said that the government had tried its level best not to fully pass on to the masses the impact of the international increase in the prices of commodities. He pointed out that sugar prices increased by forty-eight percent in the world market, but we only creased its price by eleven percent. Palm oil saw an increase of fifty percent, but we increased the price by thirty-three to thirty-five percent. Similarly, the prices of crude oil and wheat were not enhanced as per the international market.

The Finance Minister said the government is also giving attention to enhance the incomes of the people to enhance their purchasing power. Shaukat Tarin said that Kamyab Pakistan Program will be launched this month to enable the weak segments of the society to earn their livelihoods.

Shaukat Tarin said that the results of our growth strategy are visible, and the revenue collection is increasing. He said we are on the track to achieve five percent growth during the current fiscal year. He said that this would also help reduce our debt to GDP ratio.

As regards the State-Owned Enterprises, he said a privatization board is being established to run them on professional lines. He said these enterprises would be privatized after turning them around.

Responding to a question, the Finance Minister said the current trade deficit is manageable. He said it is being seen because our economy is growing.

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