Friday September 22, 2023

Marriyum claims prices of essentials taking a tumble

June 02, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said prices of essential commodities have significantly reduced due to the prudent policies of the government.Addressing a news conference here in Islamabad on Thursday, she said the government is determined to control inflation, and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is himself monitoring the relief measures so that their benefit reaches the common man.The minister said the price of flour has decreased by 35-40 rupees per kg and cooking oil by 60-70 rupees. LPG cylinder prices for domestic consumers have been reduced by 438 rupees from 2759 to 2321 rupees, while commercial LPG cylinder prices have been slashed by 1686 rupees from 10619 to 8933 rupees.

She said strict punitive action is being taken against people who are involved in hoarding or artificial price hikes. She said the coalition government inherited a tattered economy, but one year of our relentless efforts are yielding results as economic indicators have started an upward trajectory. She said today’s dollar prices were slashed by 27 rupees.

The minister said the agriculture policy institute has been revived, and work on seed variation is underway on an immediate basis for making the country self-reliant in cooking oil production.She said the political and economic stability of the country is the top priority of the coalition government.Marriyum Aurangzeb said the prime minister has started consultations on upcoming budget proposals for various sectors, including agriculture and industry. She said the Kamyab Jawan Programme and Benazir Income Support Programme have been revived.

The minister said farmers have been provided relief under the historic Kissan Package, and subsidies on fertilisers and solarization of agriculture tubewells will be part of the upcoming budget proposals for the agriculture sector. She said the health card budget will also be increased this year. She lamented how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme was suspended by the previous government, but today we are trying to fulfil even the most difficult conditions of the IMF to complete the programme.

The minister said as political panic descends, economic panic also wanes.She said while the PMLN-led coalition government tried every bit during the last year to revive the economy, the mindset of hatred, polarisation, and violence continued to impede our way through violent protests, sit-ins, and attacks on national institutions and memorials of national heroes.Answering a question regarding the delay in the salaries and pensions of Radio Pakistan employees, the minister said their salaries and pensions are being paid through supplementary grants.

She said the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet has already approved a supplementary grant for the salaries and pensions of Radio Pakistan employees. She said the government is working on a business plan to make the state broadcaster financially self-sufficient and a profit-making entity.Regarding the lags in the pensions and commutations of Radio Pakistan’s retired employees, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that payments of these amounts will be ensured through the sufficient allocation of funds in the budget.