The government has decided to open One thousand more Utility Stores in different parts of the country to ensure provision of essential commodities to consumers at controlled rates.

This was stated by Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation Khaqan Murtaza in an interview with Radio Pakistan.

He said PC-1 envisaging expansion of utility outlets' network has been forwarded to the concerned quarters for approval. Currently 6017 utility outlets including franchise stores are operational across the country.

The managing director said that the Corporation has‚ to a great extent‚ implemented the government's plan to establish utility outlets at every union council.

In Punjab‚ the USC has  presence in 68 percent union councils‚ Sindh 76 percent‚ Khyber Pakhtunkhawa 83 percent‚ Balochistan 70 percent‚ Azad Kashmir 75 percent‚ Gilgit Baltistan 80 percent and Islamabad 86 percent. He said local people are preferably recruited to run the stores.

Responding to a question‚ Khaqan Murtaza said Utility Stores Corporation has also set up mega stores in big cities including Karachi‚ Lahore and Islamabad‚ where customers could buy all items of daily use under one roof. The experience of mega stores has proved to be successful in some cities. Similarly‚ they have set up mini markets in some cities to meet the demands of customers.

MrKhaqan Murtaza said the Utility Stores Corporation is providing good quality items to its customers as it directly procures commodities from the companies or the importers. He said the USC has also further reduced the prices of pulses by ten to fifteen percent despite the fact that ninety percent of pulses are imported from other countries. He said the corporation is earning profit of eight hundred million rupees annually.