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Govt to subsidize commodities worth Rs 200 bn

04 June, 2006

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ISLAMABAD: On the directives of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the federal government would subsidize basic commodities up to Rs. 200 billion to give relief to the masses and it would be announced in the Prime Minister relief package, which would be included in the budget, sources said.

The prime minister would also separately announce about the subsidy on edibles including flour, sugar, oil and ghee, pulses, dry milk etc.

The sources said that the government would expand Utility Stores Corporation (UTC) to bring down the prices of commodities. The edibles would be soled at the UTCs at controlled rates. The number of UTCs’ centers and mobile units would be increased and also established in rural areas.

The government would evolve a plan to keep the prices constant and any dealer, shopkeeper or trader found involved in selling the commodities at a cost more than the fixed rates would be dealt with and his license would be cancelled and fine would be imposed.

In this connection, legislation would be made and the federal, provincial and district governments have been given the task to monitor prices on daily basis and send weekly report to the government.

The monopoly control authority has been abolished and a competitive authority is being made. The competitive authority would be more authoritative and would play its role to check hoarding and keep the prices constant.

Khalid Mirza would be the head of the authority.

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