Govt okays Rs7.8b Ramadan Relief Package

Mohammad Arshad

The government on Wednesday approved Ramadan Relief Package-2021’ worth Rs 7.8 billion; Utility Stores Corporation would subsidize 19 essential items under the proposed relief package equivalent to approx Rs. 7.8 billion including wheat flour, sugar and ghee which have significant differential vis-a-vis prevailing prices in the domestic markets.

Prices of sugar, ghee, tea, flour, and cooking oil will be reduced Rs 40, Rs 43, Rs 50, Rs 30.5 and Rs 20 per kg and per liter will be cheaper than market simultaneously.

Sugar will be available at USC outlets at the price of Rs 68 per kg, Ghee at Rs 175 per kg and 20 kg flour bag will be sold at Rs 800 per bag.

Similarly, pulses and relevant items will also be available at Rs 10 to Rs 20 cheaper rates than open market.

Rice and dates will be provided at Rs 12 and Rs 10 cheaper than market at USC outlets.

The Ramadan Relief Package-2021 was approved in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee chaired by Federal minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here.

Ministry of Industries and Production presented a ‘Ramadan Relief Package-2021’ in accordance with the directive of the Prime Minister to provide maximum relief to the marginalized segments of the society during the holy month of Ramadan.

The MD, USC briefed the forum that procurement would start from 01 April, 2021 to ensure availability of basic items at discounted prices across 4000 outlets of USCs throughout the country.

The Committee directed MD USC to coordinate with Finance Division for timely release of funds to ensure well-timed procurement and other contingent arrangements.

Ministry of Industries and Production presented another summary seeking permission regarding operation of two plants namely Agritech and Fatima Fertilizer from March till November, 2021 to produce urea from SNGPL based plants.

The underlying rationale is to bridge the gap between estimated demand and actual domestic production of urea in the country.

The Committee approved operations of the above-mentioned plants with a direction that the Ministry may closely monitor the demand-supply situation and take decision to import urea, if needed, as per requirement during the current year.

Secretary, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination tabled a summary for exemption of taxes and duties on import of auto disable syringes and raw material needed for local manufacturing of auto disable syringes in the country.

The Secretary Health briefed the forum about efforts underway to switch from conventional syringes to auto disable syringes as reuse of conventional syringes leads to blood borne diseases in Pakistan such as hepatitis, HIV etc.