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Relief package of Rs7.8 billion announced for Ramadan

Following a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, utility stores to ensure the provision of 19 essential food items at subsidized rates in Ramadan,

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The Ramadan Package worth 7.6 billion has been approved by The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday, during a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.

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According to the Finance ministry subsidies for 18 essential items at the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) were approved during the meeting. Technical grants for seven different institutions were also approved.

Ministry of Industries and Production presented a ‘Ramadan Relief Fund-2021’ as directed by Prime Minister to provide maximum relief to the marginalized segments of the society during the holy month of Ramadan.

According to the relief package, the subsidized items found in the utility stores include wheat flour, sugar, ghee, oil, pulses (channa, moong, mash), besan, rice, tea, milk, etc. The Ramadan relief package will continue till the moon sighting.

Initially, the total quantum of Ramadan Relief Package-2021 was Rs6.3 billion, including Rs100 million for the media campaigns. However, it has now been enhanced to Rs7.8 billion.

According to the Utility Stores Corporation, (USC) procurement of essential commodities would start from the 1st of April, and the corporation to make the essential items available at 4000 stores around the country.

It was reported last week that the PTI government initially was thinking about a nearly Rs6.3 billion Ramadan package for the USC and had proposed subsidies of Rs20 per kg on dates, Rs10 per kg on basmati and sela rice, an Rs12 subsidy on tota rice, an Rs25 per 1,500ml bottle of beverages, an Rs20 per 800ml bottle of drinks, Rs50 on tea, and Rs20 on milk, among others.

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The 7.8 billion package is up from the 2.5 billion rupees package the government of Pakistan last Ramadan. This is important because Year-on-Year National Consumer Price Index is higher by 8.70 percent this year, thus, people need this relief in the religious month of Ramadan.