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Rs 3 billion Ramazan package unveiled.

Pakistan, Aug. 5 -- Govt allocates Rs 1bn sugar subsidy, to be sold at Rs 55/kg

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday announced a Ramazan package worth Rs 2 billion to provide essential commodities at subsidised rates to the people at Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets from Friday.

Apart from Rs 2 billion subsidy on different items, the government has also allocated Rs 1 billion subsidy on sale of sugar at Rs 55 per kilogramme at USC outlets, while in open market the rate of the commodity was in the range of Rs 65 to Rs 70 per kilogramme.

Speaking at a news conference, Managing Director (MD) Utility Stores Corporation (USC), Arif Khan, said that the items that will be sold at subsidised rates at utility stores in Ramazan are; sugar, available at Rs 55 per kilogramme; flour (Atta), at Rs 300 per 20 kilogramme bag; ghee, at Rs 103 per kilogramme; Dal Channa (Bold Grain), Rs 56 per kilogramme for Punjab/KPK/ Sindh and Rs 58 per kilogramme for Balochistan; White Gram (Bold Grain), Rs 78 per kilogramme; Chakki Baisen, Rs 56 per kilogramme; USC Dates, 500 gramme Packet, Rs 44; and Utility Vegetable C/Oil 1 Liter Pounch, Rs 103.

MD USC further said 80,000 metric tons sugar would be sold through USC outlets and claimed that all quantity was stocked with the corporation. Apart from two-kilogramme sugar packet, five-kilogramme packets would also be available at the utility stores. About 150000 metric tons flour (atta), 50000 metric tons ghee, 3000 metric tons While Gram, 3000 metric tons Baisen, and 4000 metric tons Dates would sold in the Ramazan package, the MD maintained. He also claimed that three percent to 10 percent subsidy has already been provided on about 1000 items. Khan said through USC consultation, the vendors/suppliers were contacted and they agreed to further reduced their prices by Rs 700 million overall. Therefore, he claimed that with Rs 2 billion Ramazan Package, Rs 1 billion on sugar and Rs 700 million, along with the subsidy already provided, the total subsidy would be equal to Rs 4 billion during the month of Ramazan. He said the subsidized price lists would be displayed in every utility stores so that every person can check it easily.

About USC, the MD claimed that it provided direct job opportunities to 12000 people and 24000 indirect jobs opportunities across the country. During the year 2009-10, the corporation paid Rs 4 billion as tax to the government and also earned profits. Total sale receipts of the sale proceeds of the USC in last fiscal year remained Rs 51 billion against the target of Rs 48 billion, he maintained. Although, the MD USC claimed that quality of products was ensured in the utility stores but the journalists had presented genuine complaints before him. He said the USC has dismissed more than 500 employees over corruption/malpractices in the corporation.

Answering a question about flood relief by the USC, Arif Khan said the utility stores provided one lakh packets of 7 and 11 items. These packets were distributed through Baitul Mal and concerned local administration at Rs 1600 and Rs 2000 per packet having different items in it.

He also claimed that the present government wanted to provide relief to the people during the holy month of Ramazan.

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Publication:Daily Times (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Aug 5, 2010
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