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Tuesday June 18, 2024

USC seeks Rs85bn relief package in budget

Prime Minister’s relief package will be announced in the federal budget for 2014-25

By Rana Ghulam Qadir
May 28, 2024
People stand in a queue outside a state-run utility store to buy groceries. — AFP/File
People stand in a queue outside a state-run utility store to buy groceries. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to take measures to provide relief to people on the instructions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

According to the government, the Prime Minister’s relief package will be announced in the federal budget for 2014-25. The Utility Stores Corporation has proposed the biggest Prime Minister’s package in the country’s history for the new financial year. It has asked for Rs85 billion in the budget for the Prime Minister’s package.

Out of the Rs85 billion, Rs12 billion has been proposed for the next year’s Prime Minister’s Ramazan package. The remaining Rs73 billion has been requested for 11 months of the next financial year. An average of Rs6.64 billion per month has been demanded for the Prime Minister’s package in the next financial year. However, the USC is unlikely to get the amount of funds requested.

The Finance Ministry will finalize the proposals regarding funds for the Prime Minister’s relief package. It was proposed to continue the subsidy on five basic commodities under the Prime Minister’s package for the new financial year. Sugar, flour, ghee, pulses and rice are proposed to be subsidized for BISP beneficiaries. The existing Prime Minister’s relief package for Utility Stores will expire on June 30, 2024.

At present, the price of sugar for BISP beneficiaries at Utility Stores is fixed at Rs 109 per kg. A 10-kg bag of flour is available at Rs 648 for them. The price of ghee is fixed at Rs 393 per kg. A subsidy of Rs25 per kg on pulses and rice is also being given to BISP beneficiaries.