Given record price hike, providing free flour to deserving families during holy month of Ramazan is an appreciable step on part of federal government. We believe it will bring at least some ease in lives of poor families who are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
Chairing a meeting in Lahore on Saturday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed officials to ensure provision of free flour to the needy. It is a matter of satisfaction that PM is personally overseeing the implementation of this relief scheme and visiting different cities to see distribution process. Certainly, this will keep officials concerned on their toes and ensure that flour reaches deserving people with complete transparency. The PM’s direction to expand Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) will enable more deserving families to benefit from free flour scheme. While it is really important that the commodity is provided to poor lot in a hassle free and dignified manner, its quality must also be ensured. Often it has been observed that compromise is made on quality of items given to the people free of cost or on subsidized rates.
We will suggest the PM to put in place a robust mechanism to check quality both of the free flour as well as subsidized items being sold at Utility Stores under Rs 5 billion Ramazan package.
These are difficult times for the people and every possible effort must be made to provide some relief to them. The middle class has also been hit hard by sky rocketing prices of essential commodities. The inflation has greatly squeezed their buying power. We understand that government has a very little fiscal space yet interventions such as enhancing salaries of employees are important to protect them from current inflationary trends. The businesses will also keep rolling if consumers have power to purchase items.