Govt announces Rs 250 per kg subsidy on ghee at USC: Marriyum Aurangzeb

ISLAMABAD, Jun 13 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, while announcing a major reduction of Rs. 250 in per kilogram ghee price by
the present government, said on Monday that the commodity would be available at all utility stores across the country at Rs 300/kg whereas a bag of 10- kg flour was already being provided at utility stores across the country at Rs. 400.

Addressing a press conference she said, in 2018, the price of flour was Rs. 35 per kg but when the PTI came to power, during the last four years, the pockets of mafias and cartels had been filled and the people were crushed under unprecedented inflation. To mitigate the problems of the consumers, the present government, from day one had been taking steps to provide subsidies and relief to protect the people from the effects of inflation.

She said that in 2018, the price of flour in Pakistan was Rs 35 per kg which increased to Rs 90 to Rs 100 per kg during the last four years and its quality was also compromised in the whole country, including utility stores.

She recalled that during the PTI era, flour was smuggled out of the country, it was exported and then imported, thus price was increased. Similarly, sugar was also exported, then it was imported and its price was more than doubled to benefit the mafias.

Marriyum said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had fixed the price of flour at utility stores at Rs. 400 per 10 kg keeping in view the rising rate of inflation. She said that from June 1, 2022, a scheme was started to provide flour at the rate of Rs. 400 per 10 kg through utility stores in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Due to shortage of utility stores in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 100 mobile utility stores have been added there since June 6, 2022, through which subsidized flour was being provided to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

She said that on June 9, an additional 500 points were immediately allocated for the delivery of flour to the utility stores and today, 100 more points have been added. She said, now besides utility stores, about 700 mobile vans and 600 points were selling flour at Rs. 400 per 10 kg in the province.

Marriyum Aurangzeb disclosed that so far 262,434 ten-kilogram bags of flour had been distributed at 600 sales points. For the convenience of the people in these areas where utility stationary points or mobile vans could not reach, toll free number 080005590 has been given on which the consumers could register their grievances.

In addition, complaints regarding flour quality or price difference could be lodged on a toll free number 051-111123570. Referring to the price of ghee, she said that in 2018, during the PML-N era, the price of ghee was Rs. 150 per kg. In the last four years, ghee was being sold at Rs 550 to Rs 600. The minister said that a subsidy for ghee was introduced on June 9 with a total volume of Rs. 3 billion.

She said that the price of ghee had reached to Rs. 550 per kg in the
market. The government has reduced the price of ghee to Rs. 300 per kg
by giving a subsidy of Rs. 250 per kg.

A monitoring system has been set up in the utility stores for
complaints of shortage of flour, sugar and other commodities and to
oversee matters such as selling ghee at exorbitant prices in the
market. In addition, price control committees had been constituted
which would monitor hoarding and sale of items at higher prices.

The minister said that the monitoring committees would provide
updates to the chief secretaries and the prime minister chaired
weekly meetings in this regard in which the provincial chief
secretaries, including the ministers of food security and industry, also
participated.

The minister said that if the public noticed the difference in
prices at the utility stores or if these items were not available,
they could call on the toll free number to register their complaint.
and the monitoring team will take immediate action on public
complaints.

She said that a subsidy of Rs. 17 billion has been earmarked in the
budget for sugar, ghee and flour. Moreover, she said, Rs.2000 per
month was being given to the poor people registered in BISP. In
addition, people earning less than Rs 40,000 can avail petrol and
diesel subsidy by sending an SMS to 786. She said that this subsidy
was being given in view of the plight of the people.

Taking a dig on the PTI leadership, she said that those who had
adopted the narrative of external conspiracy were giving lectures on
inflation today.

She recalled that Imran Khan used to say that he did not become the
Prime Minister to control the prices of tomatoes and potatoes.
“The people have been suffering from inflation for the last four years
while the present government has been in power for the last two months
and it has been striving to provide relief to the people from inflation”.

The minister said that during the last four years, the pockets of
the mafia and cartels had been filled and the people have been made
unemployed. That is why the present government is taking steps to
provide subsidies and relief to the people.

She said that the people would be updated on a daily basis and the
Prime Minister was monitoring all the complaints himself. She said
that people knew why difficult decisions were being taken today. He
said that in the last four years the wave of inflation had increased
tremendously due to the inefficiency of the previous regime and the
present government was taking steps to reduce the burden of inflation.

“We will lead the country towards economic stability as the bulk of
the budget was earmarked for the agricultural sector. There is zero tax
on tractors, seeds and other agricultural inputs. There is also zero
tax on renewable energy”, she concluded.