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Print Print 2022-07-10

PM’s relief package: Rs70bn needed to subsidise five basic goods

  • Ministry of Industries and Production seeks approval of operational cost of over Rs 150 million for distribution of subsidy under Prime Minister’s Sasta Atta initiative
Published July 10, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A subsidy of Rs 70 billion would be required in the fiscal year 2023 for selling five essential items at Utility Stores Corporation at subsidized rates under Prime Minister’s Relief Package.

Sources said that this was contained in a proposal submitted to the ECC by Ministry of Industries and Production, seeking approval of operational cost of over Rs 150 million for distribution of subsidy under Prime Minister’s Sasta Atta initiative on 1200 additional sale points in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the month of June and August 2022. Operational cost of Rs 150 million was approved by the ECC in its 7th July 2022 meeting after it was informed that the prime minister directed the Ministry to a summary to the ECC in this regard.

Ministry’s proposal included that; (i) continuation of subsidy on five essential items to be extended up to 30-06-2023 to provide relief to common man;( ii) additional annual expenses to be incurred for provision of Atta in KPK at 1000 additional stores and 200 mobile stores as per directions of Prime Minister; (iii) the approval of one-time cost for expansion/ opening of 190 new stores in southern Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and 34 mobile stores for Balochistan.

Total financial implications entails in the proposal were Rs 70 billion with;(i) Rs 68.224 billion cost of subsidy for Prime Minister’s Relief Package 2020 on five essential items for fiscal year 2022-23; (ii) Rs 150.54 million operational cost of distribution of subsidy under Prime Minister’s Sasta Atta Initiative on 1200 additional sale points in KPK for the month of June and August 2022;(iii) Rs 1.806 billion operational cost of distribution of subsidy under Prime Minister’s Sasta Atta Initiative on 1200 additional Sale points in KPK for fiscal year 2022-23; (iv) Rs 174.08 million one-time cost of 190 new utility stores and annual operating cost on 34 mobile stores (only for subsidized items) in Balochistan. This would bring the total subsidy to Rs 70.354 billion.

Five essential items: PM says the poor to get subsidy through USC

The ECC was requested that;(a) Rs.51, 224 million (excluding Rs.17 billion already proposed for the subsidy in Budget 2022-23) may be allocated for the cost of subsidy on five essential commodities for the financial year 2022-23.(b) Rs.150.54 million for operational cost on distribution of subsidized Atta already incurred during the month of June on additional 1000 stores and 200 mobile stores for provision of subsidized Atta in KPK;(c) Rs 1.806.48 million may be allocated for expenses on additional 1000 stores and 200 mobile stores for provision of subsidized Atta in KPK as per directions of the Prime Minister for the financial year 2022-23; (d) Rs. 174.08 for onetime cost for expansion/ opening of 190 new stores in Southern Punjab, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and annual expenditure on 34 mobile stores for Balochistan for the financial year 2022-23; (e) if above proposals are approved, Finance Division may be directed to allocate and release the total funds amounting to Rs. 53,354.70 million immediately in favour of Utility Stores Corporation either through regular budgetary allocation or Supplementary/ Technical Supplementary Grant.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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