Prime Minister Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 10 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said that the poor segments of society deserved subsidies and grants and stressed upon a targeted subsidy system which could provide further relief to the poor and those living in backward areas.

During a meeting of the federal cabinet, he further observed that at present, subsidy was being equally available to the rich and the poor segments of society.

The prime minister directed that a comprehensive review of all sectors, should be carried out where a targeted subsidy to the poor and backward areas could be provided.

He also asked for submission of a complete planning with implementation period, PM office media wing in a press release said.

Special Assistant to PM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet on making the system of subsidies and grants more suitable.

He presented a comparison over the revenue, expenditures and grants during the last 13 years.

The cabinet was told that expenditures edged the total ratio of revenue due to average payment of debt.

Dr Masood further said that due to subsidy and grants being passed on in different sectors including energy, agriculture, industry and others, the national exchequer was being unnecessary burdened.

The total volume of these subsidies and grants stood around 4.5 per cent of the GDP, he added.

The special assistant also presented certain proposals before the cabinet for provision of targeted subsidy.

It was suggested that Ehsaas database could be utilized for provision of targeted subsidy to the poor.

The prime minster observed that it was a great success of the present government which had transferred deposits of the government institutions from the scheduled banks to the State Bank which helped in resulted in substantial saving.

The cabinet granted its approval for the Registrant status for the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan under Geographical Indication Registration which would help in securing identity of production and different products of Pakistan across the world.

These specific production items included Basmati rice, Kinnow, mango, Ajrak, cutlery etc; which were related to the geographical identification of the country and treated as its unique export.

It also ratified decisions of the cabinet coordination committee on economic during its meeting on October 28, 2020 and the decisions of cabinet committee on energy taken during its meeting on October 29, 2020.

The cabinet further accorded approval for the wheat support price at Rs 1650 per 40 kg bag.

It also approved, in principle, establishment of Digital Cooperation Organization as suggested by the Government of Saudi Arabia which would help in promotion of information technology among the regional country.

The prime minister also appealed to the nation to observe precautionary measures to contain second wave of Covid 19 pandemic including mandatory use of masks.

He directed the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) to devise strategy to tackle the situation without affecting the income of people.

The cabinet, in principle, decided that during this period, no public gathering would be held on part of the government.

Minister for Planning Asad Umar apprised the cabinet about the recent situation of coronavirus pandemic.

It was informed that increased ratio of cases were being reported which was a matter of serious concern.