Govt to launch Rs 6 b subsidy programme in 1st week of January: Firdous.


ISLAMABAD -- Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Tuesday said the government would launch Rs 6 billion subsidy programme in the first week of January to provide essential items, including flour, rice, edible oil and pulses etc to the people through Utility Store Corporation (USC) at affordable prices.

Briefing the media here about the Federal Cabinet decisions, she said the cabinet, in its last meeting of the outgoing year chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, discussed in detail the priorities set for the new year. It also discussed the achievements of government despite various challenges faced in the outgoing year.

Dr Firdous said the Financial Assistance Card (FAC) was also being launched in last week of next month for the deprived and unprivileged segments of the society to provide them financial assistance, while their health needs would be met through the Sehat Insaf Card.Those, who were not registered with the data bank, would be supported through the 'Langar Khana' scheme, she added.

She said the cabinet was briefed about the economic indicators and the steps taken by the government during the last year. It was told that the country's exports and foreign reserves witnessed significant increase while inflation experienced downward trend.

The current account and trade deficits witnessed 73 per cent and 43 per cent decrease respectively, with 17 per cent increase in the tax collection by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and 14.7 per cent in the exports, it was further informed.

She said the cabinet was told that the foreign direct investment in the country was increased by 1268 per cent from $147 million in the previous year to $2.6 billion during the outgoing year.

The special assistant said the cabinet was also apprised that Rs 87 billion had been spent under the annual Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) so far while Rs 700 billion more would be spent under the programme. The prime minister directed to give more priority to the projects under the PSDP, she said.

She said funds had also been transferred to the provinces and the prime minister asked to take details from the provinces about their spending on the development programmes.

Dr Firdous said Prime Minister also took notice of closure of sugar mills causing hardships to the sugarcane growers. A special economic committee would look into cotton and sugarcane support prices gathering information from the market, she...

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