The government on Monday decided to continue targeted subsidies on five essential items of daily use—wheat flour, sugar, ghee/edible oil, pulses, rice—at Utility Stores across Pakistan for the upcoming fiscal year.
“We are working toward a transparent, efficient and digital system where various subsidies will be brought under one umbrella,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote on Twitter while confirming the decision, which was taken at a high-level meeting regarding Utility Stores in the country that was also attended by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Industries Minister Murtaza Mahmood, and other senior officials.
According to a press release, the participants of the meeting were briefed about the provision of targeted subsidies to underprivileged segments of society, as well as measures underway to increase the network of Utility Stores nationwide. The prime minister’s desire to ensure cheaper wheat flour in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was also discussed.
“I have directed for the Utility Stores network to be revamped and expanded across the country, including the presentation of an expansion plan for Karachi in two weeks,” the prime minister continued on Twitter. “Ministries of Finance, Industries and Poverty Alleviation will jointly work on reforming the system,” he added.
Earlier, he had termed as “unacceptable” the fewer number of Utility Stores in Karachi than the rest of the country.