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Coronavirus
VERY HIGH Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
27,482
5024hr
Pakistan Cases
1,234,828
2,23324hr
4.23% positivity
Sindh
453,858
Punjab
426,639
Balochistan
32,828
Islamabad
104,764
KPK
172,498

ISLAMABAD: Under the directive of Prime Minister of Pakistan, Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan, (USC) launches a historic Ramazan Relief Package 2021 on April 10, 2021 through provisioning of subsidy on 19 essential items including wheat flour, sugar, ghee, rice, cooking oil, pulses, white gram, dates, tetra pack milk, tea, spices, and gram flour.

Under the relief package, USC is offering hefty discounts on more than 1500 products as well.

In this relief package, wheat flour of 20-kilogram bag is available at Rs. 800; sugar per kilogram is available at Rs. 68; Ghee per kilogram will be available at Rs. 170; whereas subsidy on black tea is Rs. 50 per kilogram; on oil will be Rs. 20 per litre; subsidy on pulses is from Rs. 15 to Rs. 30 per kilogram; subsidy on white gram is Rs. 25 per kilogram; subsidy on dates is Rs. 20 per kilogram; subsidy on rice is from Rs. 10-12; subsidy on squashes and syrups ranges from Rs. 20-25; subsidy on milk (UHT) per litre is Rs. 20 and subsidy on spices is 10 percent. The relief package will equally be implemented nationwide on over 4,800 utility stores. In line with the directive and vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan, the amount of subsidy on 19 essential items has been increased this year, as compared to previous years to provide maximum relief to the marginalized people of Pakistan. In order to facilitate people of Pakistan and to provide essential commodities at their doorsteps, USC will increase number of Mobile Utility Stores under the relief package.

Since its inception, USC is serving the nation with an obligation of averting food shortage during thick and thin. Over the years, USC has proved itself to be a reliable support to the nation as it is successfully transferring Government’s subsidy on essential food items, deterring hoarding, black marketing and providing critical market intelligence to assist government in framing economic policies.

The role of USC specifically becomes critical during the pandemics and disasters as it has the largest retail network nationwide. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, as per its precedence of averting food shortage, all 4,881 retail outlets of USC remained open by strictly complying Standard Operating Procedures of Covid-19 to maintain continued supply of food items at prices lower than the open market. The public is urged to take precautionary measures against the epidemic while shopping from the utility stores and co-operate with the sales staff in this regard. Moreover, USC ensures ample supply of all necessary items at its stores nationwide, so bulk buying and panic buying are not advised.

It is worth mentioning here that from January 2020, USC has successfully been providing continuous subsidy on five staple food items (sugar, wheat flour, ghee, rice and pulses), ensuring food security in Pakistan despite spread of Covid-19. During the year, USC achieved success at various fronts and acquired a turnover of around Rs. 100 billion, serving 45.8 million households during the year 2020. During the year, USC deposited Rs. 8.59 billion tax to the national exchequer and transformed itself into almost a self-reliant, self-sufficient and self-sustained organization. Also, USC is the first in Pakistan to introduce poly/ shopping bags by using Oxo-biodegradable Additives for green environment as per Pakistan Environment Protection Agency rules for the betterment of people of Pakistan and has launched 64 products under ‘Own Brand’ umbrella. The products are of high quality and are up to the benchmark of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority.

Sequel to Prime Minister of Pakistan’s vision of Digital Pakistan, USC will have a comprehensive technology upgrade to ensure fast, accountable and hassle free customer services using sophisticated technologies and automated processes till fiscal year 2021. USC has successfully established an Information Technology infrastructure by developing a modern data centre. The data centre has the capacity to meet future infrastructure requirements. Other initiatives include deployment of Online Stores Information System by geo-tagging all stores throughout the country. USC has also implemented a Demand-based Online Purchase Ordering System integrated with Finance Payable System.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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