ECC okays major hike in sugar, flour, ghee prices at USC

Mohammad Arshad

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet, Friday, approved revision in prices of three essential commodities to rationalize provision of subsidies by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).

ECC approved the revision in prices of three essential commodities namely Atta (20 kg bag) to Rs. 950, Ghee (per kg) to Rs. 260 and Sugar (per kg) to Rs. 85 respectively, owing to an increasing gap between the subsidized prices offered by USC and the prevailing market prices.

The ECC which met here with Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin in the chair approved a summary, presented by the M/o Com-merce, regarding the elimination of Documents attestation fee for goods imported into Pakistan from Kenya as this Non-Tariff Measure increases cost of business and transaction time.

The said decision by the Committee would facilitate trade be-tween the two countries and enhance Pakistan’s market share in the region.

The ECC approved a summary tabled by the Power Division regarding non-cash settlement for Power Sector relent loans against subsidies payable by Government of Pakistan equal to Rs.116 billion. The ECC approved “Kamyab Pakistan Program”.

A flagship program which shall extend micro-loans to entrepreneurs and farmers under “Kamyab Karobar” and “Kamyab Kissan” schemes respectively. The program shall also provide low cost housing loans through NAPHDA.

The Kamyab Pakistan Program also includes ongo-ing skill development program for educational and vocational training under the title “Kamyab Hunar-mand”.

The Kamyab Pakistan Program is aimed at extending loans to four million households at the lowest strata, as registered with the National Socio-Economic Registry of Ehsaas.

Loans worth Rs.0.5 million, Rs.0.150 million and Rs.0.2 million through Micro-Finance Providers for Kamyab Karobar and Kamyab Kissan at 0% mark up will be provided.

The third component of the scheme is introduction of a new tier in Naya Pakistan Low Cost Housing Scheme wherein loans of Rs.2.7 million (for NAPHDA) and Rs.2 million (for Non-NAPHDA) projects will be given at subsidized rates.

The salient features of the Kamyab Pakistan Program include loan size of Rs.150,000 (per crop) for pur-chase of agricultural inputs.

The commutative disbursement under the program would be Rs.1.6 billion over the period of three years. It shall benefit 30,00,000 families.

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