Govt starts targeted cash subsidies to the weak segments: Tarin

Written by The Frontier Post

Muhammad Asad

ISLAMABAD: Government is starting targeted subsidy for essential commodities including flour, sugar, pulses and oil in cash assistance to the weak segments of the society from the current month. It was shared by the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shoukat Tarin flanked with Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshaid Cheema during a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Tarin said that government did not pass on the impact of prices of essential commodities in international market to its masses during recent months. According to him, sugar prices increased by 48% in international market whereas it raised up-to only 11% in Pakistan. Similarly, palm oil prices touched 50 % rise in international market while it remained under 35% increase in our local market during same time.
Tarin informed the media that government is undertaking a scientific study of the country’s current market system based on commission agent and middleman which is the real reason of inflation in the country.
According to Tarin, government will encourage the construction of cold storages, warehouses and agri malls so the farmers can get due price of their products. He claimed that the new strategy would end the monopoly of the middleman and regularize the profit of retailers.
Finance Minister said that strategic reserves of the essential commodities will be established in the country to ensure continuous supply of the commodities to the market.
According to Shoukat Tarin, the debt of the state-owned enterprises including Pakistan Railways, PIA, Steel Mills and others put grave impact on the country’s economy.
He said that government is planning to put all of them under a board for running them on professional lines to turn them around.
According to him, subsequently after turning them in to profit generating corporations, these state-owned entities will be privatized in due course of time. Tarin also announced the launch of Kamyab Pakistan Program during current month to support the livelihood of disadvantaged sections of the society.
Shoukat Tarin hoped that as the United States and international financial institutions had halted Afghanistan’s foreign reserves, therefore there are chances that Pakistan and Afghanistan may do bilateral trade in Pakistan rupee during coming days. While speaking on the occasion, SAPM on food security Jamshaid Chema said that government is working to shift the agriculture sector from nonpromising to promising corps during coming days.
Cheema said that the prices of commodities will decrease during coming months and government will start providing flour at previous month rate to 44 per cent population starting from current month.
According to Cheema, government is working to bring pivotal changes in the production of essential commodities during coming days including production of sugar from sugar beet instead of sugarcane etc.

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