Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Industries and Production Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi on Friday asked the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to expand its services to the rural level as the majority of population resides in the countryside.
Speaking at a briefing on performance and initiatives of USC, the SAPM said the coalition government was committed to providing maximum relief to masses across the country.
Briefing the SAPM about the performance and initiatives, Managing Director (MD), Muhammad Ali Ammer informed him about the Prime Minister special relief package and overall operations of the USC.
The MD said that the utility store was working hard to provide branded and non-branded items to the public at comparatively lower prices. The prices of these items in utility stores were still less than in the open market.
The meeting was also briefed on the progress made on subsidy on utility stores, targeted subsidy to the poor, expansion of number of utility stores across the country and provision of low price flour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The MD said that USC had put in operation as many as 200 mobile stores in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to facilitate people at their doorsteps. Currently, 100 mobile stores were operational in Abbotabad zone and 100 others in Peshawar zone, which were facilitating people to buy products in their localities in addition to availing subsidy on essential food items, he added.
He said that the USC had been made a profitable entity since the 2020-2021 fiscal year and so on as the consumer reposing confidence on the good quality of the food items of it, purchased a 30 percent ghee and sugar 16 percent of the total market share.
The subsidy mechanism is digital whereas National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation are linked to the data.
In Balochistan, subsidized supply of essential commodities was being ensured not only at utility stores but mobile stores had also been set up to ensure supply in remote areas, the MD added.
He said that USC was always ready to work in coordination with federal, provincial governments and the National Disaster Management Authority during natural hazards like floods, earthquakes etc.