Wednesday July 06, 2022

Miftah asks ministries to work on targeted subsidy via USC

By Our Correspondent
June 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Thursday directed the concerned ministries to work on proposals for targeted subsidy in context of financial and subsidy impact as per vision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to support the lower strata of the society.

He stressed on the present government’s commitment to minimising the burden of rising prices on the lower segment of the society while he presided over a meeting on PM Relief Package through Utility Stores Corporation. The USC is a state-owned enterprise that operates chain stores across Pakistan to provide basic commodities to the general public at prices lower than the open market, because the government provides them subsidies.

On the directions of the prime minister to provide immediate and substantial relief package to lower segments of the society through targeted subsidy, Miftah invited the participants to present the pragmatic, highly effective and targeted subsidy proposals, in line with the PM’s vision.

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri and Federal Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud shared various proposals for the harmonisation and consolidation of multiple subsidies under one umbrella for better allocation of resources on household basis rather than individual basis.

Secretaries of finance, industries and production, poverty alleviation and social safety, BISP, NADRA chairman and other senior officers attended the meeting.

Pakistan’s YoY food inflation would expectedly rise 23.27 percent in June 2022, led by higher milk, meat and vegetable prices, according to a report by JS Global. Food makes up 34.6 percent of the CPI basket, making USC imperative for quintiles with lower spending capacities.

CPEC meeting

In a separate meeting, with Pangchunxue, Charge de Affaires of the Embassy of China, Miftah extended his complete support and cooperation to the Chinese investors and businessmen.

He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would play an important role in taking Pakistan’s economy forward as well as cementing bilateral relations between both countries.

Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha was also present in this meeting.

The Chinese Charge de Affaires assured of full support and cooperation of the Chinese government and said that China was committed to develop the CPEC projects under the vision of shared prosperity and it would further

strengthen and expand economic cooperation between both the countries. Miftah Ismail and Pangchunxue expressed their plan for further enhancing the bilateral cooperation in various fields.

APTMA meeting

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) delegation headed by Dr Gohar Ejaz on Thursday met the finance minister to apprise him about their issues, especially those related to gas and electricity pricing and supply.

Miftah Ismail presided over the meeting with Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar and senior officers from finance and commerce ministries in attendance.

The delegation briefed the finance minister about the working of APTMA and its contribution in the revenues, employment generation and exports of Pakistan. The delegation further apprised the minister about the issues being faced by their industry.

The finance minister acknowledged the contribution of APTMA in economic growth of the country and assured the delegates of full support of the present government. Moreover, he directed the relevant authorities to resolve their issues on priority basis. The delegation thanked the minister for providing support and addressing their issues.