The Punjab government is reportedly mulling over shutting down the “Ehsaas Rashan Program” that was launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government last year.
According to details, the provincial Finance Department had proposed the closure of the program soon after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) assumed power in the province.
The Finance Department had claimed that Punjab had disbursed Rs. 9 billion to the Federal Government for the Rashan Program. However, the Federal Government failed to provide subsidized essential commodities corresponding to Punjab’s contribution.
Moreover, Chief Minister’s Utility Support Program has also started in Punjab under which essential commodities are being provided at subsidized rates at utility stores across the province.
Therefore, it is not anymore feasible to continue the Ehsaas Rashan Program in the province as running two subsidy programs in parallel is causing an additional burden on the provincial exchequer.
Last year in November, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced Ehsaas Rashan Program, the country’s biggest relief package worth Rs. 120 billion under which essential commodities have been subsidized for 53% of the country’s population.
Under this program, 130 million of the country’s population are receiving a 30% subsidy on the per-unit purchase of three essential commodities—oil/ghee, flour, and pulses.