Federal Cabinet meeting held in Islamabad, Important decisions taken by PM Imran Khan

Federal Cabinet meeting held in Islamabad, Important decisions taken by PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD - Federal Cabinet has given approval to a subsidy of two billion rupees per month for a period of five months to Utility Stores Corporation for provision of edible items of daily use to the people at affordable rates.

Meeting of the federal cabinet was held in Islamabad today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan giving a briefing to media in Islamabad on Tuesday said this package will help ensure availability of flour, sugar, rice and pulses among other edible items at USC outlets at reasonable rates. The USC has been further directed that 20 kg flour bag be sold at 800 rupees while pulses at 15-20 percent less prices than market.

She said the government will also devise a strategy to keep a check on prices of essential edible items.

She said government's economic team, ministry of commerce and other institutions including Utility Stores Corporation gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet gave approval to lift ban on import of sugar to ensure supply of this commodity. She said export of sugar has been banned and a strategy is being devised to remove regulatory duty on this commodity.

She said 4.3 million women are being given two thousand rupees monthly under Ehsaas program. The number will reach by seventy million by end of this year, benefitting 46.9 people will benefit.

The Special Assistant said the Prime Minister has directed his team to devise a mechanism to reduce the prices of gas and electricity in phase wise manner to reduce the burden of inflation on people.

She said that, Under Ehsaas Fee Support Program, the government will provide 750 rupees for male students and 1000 rupees per female students. She said under Ehsas Nutrition program, which will be launched next month, 20 thousand women will get its benefit and it will be further expanded in future. She said Ehsaas Langar Khana program, 100 more langar khana will be established this year across the country with public private partnership.

The SAPM said that the Health Advisor briefed the meeting about government initiatives in preventing Coronavirus.

She said that the cabinet also directed to prepare a comprehensive strategy to control the prices of electricity and gas along with the causes of rising prices. She said the report will also be shared with media and general public.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said the cabinet today accorded approval to Hajj Policy 2020. He said this year the hajj quota of intending pilgrims from Pakistan is 1,79,200 and efforts are being made to increase this number.

He said sixty percent pilgrims will offer hajj through government scheme while forty percent through private tour operators. He said transparency and merit will be ensured while selecting private tour operators as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said the hajj package through government scheme is 4,90,000 rupees for intending pilgrims of north region and 4,80,000 rupees for those from southern region of the country.

He said the increase in hajj package is due to surge in airline fares and depreciation of Pakistani rupee among other reasons. He said the Saudi government has levied an additional fee of 300 riyals for hajj visa and 110 riyals for mandatory health insurance. Similarly, the cost of residence has also gone up in Makkah.

The Minister said last year the government reimbursed an amount of 5.50 billion rupees to the pilgrims and this year efforts are being made to minimize the burden on intending pilgrims.

Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said 22,000 Pakistanis benefitted from Road to Makkah project in Islamabad last year and this year talks are underway to extend it to Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta.