Monday October 25, 2021

Number of Utility Stores being increased to 10,000: Cheema

September 20, 2021

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said on Saturday the number of utility stores is being increased from 4,500 to 10,000.

As many as 40,000 tonnes of gram (Chana) pulse and 40,000 tonnes of Moong pulse would be procured and Rs 10 billion had been allocated for the purchase of the pulses, he maintained. He said that people would be facilitated through utility stores and sasta bazaars.

Addressing a press conference, he said the price of petrol in Pakistan was less than almost in the world except in 24 oil producing countries. He said that the per litre price of petrol in the countries which import petrol was higher as compared to the price of petrol in Pakistan.

He said the incumbent government was selling petrol at 67 cent while the average selling price of petrol during the PML-N government was 78 cent. He said that the PPP government had sold petrol at around 80 cent to 90 cent during its tenure. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was selling petrol at low price and same was the case with diesel.

Talking about the increase in the value of dollar, the SAPM said that from 2019 till 2021 the value of dollar had increased up to 36 percent, whereas, during the government of PPP the value of dollar increased up to 44 percent.

Jamshed Iqbal Cheema while shedding light on the measures taken to control the prices of essential items said that this year the present government was importing 4 million tonnes of wheat and 0.6 million tonnes of sugar.

He said it was expected that a yield of 100 million tonnes of sugarcane would be obtained this year due to which almost 9 million tonnes of sugar would be produced. The SAPM said, "Our annual consumption of sugar is almost 6.4 million tonnes.”

He said the government wanted to keep a four month storage of all 15 big essential items so that instability in prices could be avoided. Jamshed Cheema said that focus was being laid to promote promising crops in the country. Focus was being laid on increasing production of crops, he said, adding that targeted subsidies would be provided to facilitate maximum deserving people. He said that wheat would be released starting Monday, adding that sugar would arrive in the country in two to three days and the Punjab government would supply it to other provinces.