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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has announced to have readied over 15,000 Ehsaas Rashan Riayat outlets countrywide to offer three edible commodities — flour, cooking oil and pulses to the deserving population on subsidies rates.

“As the month of Ramazan nears, Ehsaas Rashan Riayat is all geared up to meet expectedly increased demand from deserving families,” Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Senator Dr Sania Nishtar told the media on Tuesday.

The Rashan outlets are ready throughout the country where eligible families can shop, she said, adding that more kiryana stores were being added to the list of Rashan outlets on daily basis.

Currently, over 10,000 transactions per day are being conducted with Ehsaas subsidy disbursals going up daily, Nishtar said.

The programme is expanding rapidly across Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) ahead of the arrival of the Islamic month of Ramazan starting from the first week of the coming April, she added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced the roll out of Ehsaas Rashan Riayat initiative on this month’s seventh. The programme includes 30 percent monthly subsidy on the purchase of flour, oil and pulses.

Up to Rs106 billion will be disbursed to 20 million eligible families which equates to 130 million people, under this programme.

Last month, the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) said that 19.5 million potential beneficiaries were registered and being verified, and 0.52 million beneficiaries were already informed of their eligibility for Ehsaas Rashan Riayat programme. Over 117,000 kiryana retailers had registered and were being verified, and around 2,300 retailers were ready to disburse the subsidy, till last month.

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has been mandated to execute this programme.

According to PASSD, the Rashan subsidy will be disbursed through a network of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets as well as NBP-enabled kiryana stores.

Barring Sindh and Balochistan, other federating units as well as AJK, GB and ICT are participating in the programme.

Under this initiative, the federal government and participating units are sharing budget in the proportion of 35/65. For the participating units, federal share of Rashan subsidy worth Rs350 per month will be given for each eligible family.

The subsidy covers three-month period (January-March). The eligible persons who have not availed this subsidy can avail the accumulated subsidy of up to Rs3,000 (Rs1,000 per month) on flour, cooking oil and pulses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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