Finance minister says govt to provide subsidy, reduce taxes
Wheat flour will be available at Rs55 per kilogram and sugar at Rs90 per kilogram while the price of edible oil will decrease by Rs50 a kilogram from Thursday (September 23), the federal Finance Minister said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, he said that subsidy would be provided to public on wheat flour, sugar, edible oil and lentils.
He was accompanied by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib and Special Assistant on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema.
According to him, prices of commodities had increased in the international market but the government had decided not to put additional burden on the public.
Tarin said that although the national economy was moving in the right direction, there was a fear of its over-heating.
Responding to a question, he said that he was not going anywhere, adding that the prime minister had promised him to get him elected as a senator.
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that the government had decided to extend tax relief to companies concerned to bring down the prices of edible oil by Rs50 per kilogram while sugar would be available at Rs89.75 a kilogram.
The finance minister said that wheat was being released at the rate of Rs1,950 per 40 kilograms. The price of sugar has been notified at Rs89.75 per kilogram.
He said the government is taking steps to provide direct cash subsidies to the marginalized segment of the society on sugar, flour, ghee and pulses. He said this program would be launched next month, benefiting as many as 12.5 million households which are about 40 to 42% of the country’s population.
Tarin said that efforts were also being made to reduce the profit margins of middlemen. “We are trying to revive price control committees which will (directly) benefit the common man.”
He said that strategic reserves of essential commodities were also being built to ensure price stability in a bid to prevent profiteering and hoarding.
The Finance Minister said Kamyab Pakistan Program would be launched by the end of September to provide substantial relief to the weak segments of the society. He said this program would provide easy loans for businesses and the farming sector.
Farrukh Habib said that the government had not fully passed on the impact of the increase in international prices of essential commodities to the people. He said efforts were being made to provide relief to the people.
He said the world has appreciated Pakistan’s handling of Covid-19.
Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said oil, wheat and sugar prices in Pakistan were the lowest in the region.