Govt to Subsidize Five Essential Items Through Utility Stores: PM

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday said that the government will provide essential items to the poor segment of the society at a discounter price.

Chairing a high-level meeting on Utility Store Corporation (USC), the premier said the poor segment of society is in dire need of relief at this time, and the government will take all measures in this regard.

The prime minister said that it has been decided in principle to provide subsidy on five essential items including wheat flour, sugar, ghee/edible oil, pulses and rice for the poor and backward segments during the next fiscal year. The subsidy will be provided across the country through utility stores.

During the meeting, the prime minister also approved the expansion of the utility store network in Karachi. He asked the authorities to present a comprehensive plan to increase the number of utility stores in Karachi within a fortnight.

The meeting was briefed on the progress made on subsidy on utility stores, targeted subsidy to the poor, expansion of the number of utility stores across the country, and provision of low price flour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The meeting was informed that the USC is currently operating 3,822 stores directly and 1,380 franchises in the country. It was also informed that more than 300 stores will be added to the network before the end of July. These stores will be set up in Balochistan, Sindh, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Punjab.

Federal Ministers Miftah Ismail, Makhdoom Murtaza Mahmood and relevant senior officers were present in the meeting.