Masses not be burdened for mismanagement and corruption in institutions

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the masses must not be burdened for corruption and administrative mismanagement in institutions.
The Prime Minister said this on Friday while chairing a meeting, which was held to review the impact of government’s subsidies in various sectors to provide relief to the low-income and downtrodden segments of the society.
The meeting was briefed about the provision of subsidies by the government in energy, food and fertilizers sectors, besides the Ehsaas programme for social protection, provision of amount and its usage to increase exports, and promotion of higher education.
The prime minister said apart from the provision of subsidy, it should be ensured that the amount provided should be utilized for the specific purpose, and was fruitful for the people concerned. He also stressed the need to review effects of the subsidies.
Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over the success of staff level agreement with the International Monitory Fund (IMF), saying the IMF’s trust in the government’s economic policies and its direction, with protection to the people in the current fiscal year was the success of government.
He directed the Energy Division to fully concentrate on busting big power thieves, besides taking action against the elements which had somehow become cartels leading to illegal profiteering so that the people could be protected from electricity theft, flaws in the system and exploitation.
The meeting was told that the basic purpose of providing subsidies by the government was to provide relief to the low income and downtrodden segments of the society, promotion of industries and to access to the higher education.
It was also informed that as a whole Rs 251 billion subsidy was being provided in the energy sector. About Rs 162 billion had been allocated for the current fiscal year to provide subsidy to those domestic consumers who utilized up to 300 electricity units.
Similarly, Rs 8.5 billion were earmarked to provide subsidy for tube wells (agriculture) in Balochistan while Rs 18 billion were being provided to the people of merged tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs 3 billion to the Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Rs 25 billion to the K-Electric.
To provide electricity and gas to the industrial sector at reasonable rates, Rs 10 billion and Rs 24 billion had been allocated.
The meeting was told that billions of rupees subsidy was being provided to keep prices of wheat and flour in control. Rs 5 billion had been allocated to ensure strategic resources, Rs 8 billion for payment of arrears of wheat in Gilgit-Baltistan, Rs 2.5 billion for the Utility Stores for Ramzan Package and Rs 21 billion subsidy under the head of the Prime Minister Relief Package.
Rs 6 billion had been allocated under the wheat package for Gilgit-Baltistan during the current fiscal year, it was told.
The meeting was informed that Rs 192 billion had been allocated for social protection under the Ehsaas Programme while full details of the amount provided for Kafalat, Waseela Taleem, Undergraduate Scholarships, poverty alleviation, shifting of assets and interest-free loans were also presented.
It was informed about the amount allocated for increase in exports and railways.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Minister for Planning Asad Omar, Advisor on Commerce Abdur Razak Dawood, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafiz Shaikh, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and other high officials.
Earlier, the government a couple of weeks ago approved a hefty subsidy package of Rs 10 billion in a bid to offset the spiralling costs of basic food staples that threaten to undermine Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The move comes as the government already faces mounting pressure over inflation, tax increases, the devaluation of the rupee and other woes.
The Advisor to the PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had said the government had approved a five-month, 10 billion rupee package to alleviate the “soaring prices” of basic commodities, including food items such as wheat flour and sugar.
Under the package, some five million poorer Pakistanis would be able to buy discounted basics through the state-run Utility Stores Corporation (USC), which operates stores across the country.
The stores “will drastically bring down prices of at least 19 food items including wheat flour and sugar during the holy month of Ramadan” starting late April, Sheikh had said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday directed indiscriminate action those involved in power pilferage.
The prime minister directed Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub to pay special attention towards busting big power thieves.
Prime Minister Imran Khan says the government is offering subsidy and financial support in different sectors to provide relief to weaker segments of the society.
He said apart from the provision of subsidy, it should be ensured that the amount proves beneficial for the concerned people and the specific purpose.
Earlier on Thursday, PM Imran took notice of exorbitant prices being charged by retailers for coronavirus preventive masks.
A crackdown has been initiated against all those hoarding masks and selling them at hiked prices by the orders of the premier, said a statement issued by PM House.
Moreover, authorities raided a mask manufacturing company in Rawalpindi, 20,000 masks being sold on jacked up prices have been seized.
It must be noted that Pakistan is running out of surgical masks and the cost has been surged by a thousand per cent.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Law Farogh Naseem called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Friday.
During the meeting, the prime minister assured his full trust and cooperation to Farogh Naseem and said that the entire cabinet stands with you. “You’re doing a great job and representing government perfectly as a law minister, said PM Imran Khan while lauding his performance.
“Entire cabinet stands with you. I appreciate your performance as a law minister,” PM Khan tells Farogh Naseem. Matters pertaining to important legal affairs were also discussed in the meeting. – TLTP, NNI