=> ISLAMABAD, Feb 7: Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soom
ISLAMABAD, Feb 7: Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro has approved the Utility Store ‘Bachat Card Scheme’ under which five essential items will be provided at reduced prices to people of low income. The price reduction will be of about 42 per cent and at least 6.8 million households will benefit from it. The scheme will be implemented in three phases from Friday.
The prime minister approved the scheme at a meeting held here on Thursday.
The meeting was informed that the ‘Bachat’ cards would be issued only to poor families.
The five food items covered by the scheme are wheat and flour, cooking oil, sugar, rice and pulse (channe ki daal) which will be provided at 42 per cent less than the market price through Utility Stores. The government will bear an additional subsidy of Rs 3.40 billion.
Initially the scheme will be launched in Islamabad and later in other parts of the country. In the first phase, it will cover two million poor families registered with the Baitul Mal and the remaining 4.80 million families in subsequent phases with the help of data available with the provincial governments and the Ministry of Zakat. The scheme is expected to benefit over 38 million people.
The departments concerned have been directed to work in close coordination to enhance the database and to ensure inclusion of all the families without a source of income or with meagre income.The Utility Stores Corporation has been asked to expand its network to remote parts of the country.
The prime minister directed the corporation to arrange mobile stores in areas where it does not have an outlet and to hold ‘utility bazaars’ twice a month.