Ramazan package: 15.8m Punjab households to get free wheat flour

F.P. Report
LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that around 15.8 million households of Punjab province would be distributed wheat flour, free of charge during the Holy Month of Ramazan.
The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to review the Ramazan Package, said it was for the first time in country’s history that a package for distribution of free wheat flour had been prepared. He said the wheat flour would be distributed from 25th of Sha’ban to 25th of Ramazan through 8,500 Utility Stores. Moreover, another 20,000 flour distribution points would also be set up to facilitate the people.
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure transparency in the distribution of free flour among the poor and instructed to use modern technology to curb theft during the process. Moreover, he said there would be no compromise on the quality of flour. He said the people would be able to check their eligibility for the free wheat flour through an SMS.
The prime minister said the federal government would also assist the other provinces for such a programme. The representative of the Punjab government gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the free flour distribution programme during the Holy Month of Ramazan. Caretake Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi, Advisor to PM Ahad Cheema and relevant senior officers attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, in a major step for relief of the lower and middle class, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided that the federal government would distribute wheat flour among one million residents of the Capital, free of charge during Holy Month of Ramazan.
The prime minister, chairing a high-level meeting to discuss the measures for reducing the impact of inflation on the lower and middle-income classes, said the government was striving to minimise the difficulties faced by these income groups.
He also invited the provincial governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to become part of the scheme. The prime minister instructed the authorities concerned to take advantage of modern technology to ensure transparency in the distribution of free wheat flour.
The meeting was informed that as per the prime minister’s directives, a programme for supply of free wheat flour in the outskirts of Islamabad during the Holy Month of Ramazan was in final stage that would benefit around 150,000 households in the Federal Capital. The prime minister also, in principle, decided to provide petrol for the motorcycle and rickshaw owners on reduced rates as a programme for their relief had been designed.
Different proposals were presented for provision of low-cost petrol to motorcycle and rickshwa drivers. The prime minister directed the relevant officers to finalise and submit the programme as the government would take all possible steps to protect the low and middle-income groups against inflation.
Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Advisor to Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, State Minister for Petroleum Dr Musaddik Malik and senior officers attended the meeting.

PM approves Rs 8,500 per 40kg as cotton support price

ISLAMABAD: In a major step to facilitate the cotton farmers, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday approved the support price of the commodity at Rs 8,500 per 40 kilogram. The prime minister directed to present the matter to the Economic Coordination Committee on priority. Chairing a meeting of the Agriculture Task Force, the prime minister urged the provinces to ensure the implementation of cotton price.
He termed cotton as the backbone of the country’s textile sector and expressed confidence that the step would support the farmers. Highlighting the importance of cotton in earning foreign exchange, PM Shehbaz Sharif said the government would extend every possible assistance to the provinces in this regard. He mentioned that steps were being taken to boost per acre produce of cotton and directed the Ministry of National Food Security to finalize requisite proposals. The meeting was informed that last year, the cotton produce faced exponential reduction due to floods, heavy rains, shortage of canal irrigation water, and the crisis of fertilizer. This year, the overall cotton production has been estimated at 12.77 million bales, which is expected to witness significant growth as a result of the policies of the government. The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Ishaq Dar, Syed Naveed Qamar, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Raza Naqvi, Adviser to PM Ahad Cheema, and relevant officials.