ISLAMABAD    -     Government on Friday decided to provide Rs6 billion to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to provide essential items including flour, ghee, sugar, rice and pulses to the people at reduced rates.

The decision was taken during a meeting held here with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair regarding reduction in the prices of daily use items and providing relief to the people.

The prime minister was briefed about the current situation and prices of basic essential commodities, including wheat flour, ghee, sugar, rice and pulses as well as the measures for reducing the prices of those commodities.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said it is the priority of the government to provide relief to the masses. It is our utmost effort to provide special relief to the lower income and poverty stricken groups.

He said the government took difficult decisions in view of the difficult economic situation. These decisions however helped stabilize the economy. He said the economic indicators have improved and these will improve further in the days to come.

He said despite difficult situation, every possible effort will be made to provide relief to the masses.

The Prime Minister directed the administration of Utility Stores Corporation to ensure immediate provision of essential commodities to the people after receiving the amount of six billion rupees to it.

Minister for Communications Murad Saeed told the meeting that the vast network of Pakistan Post could also be used to provide essential commodities to the masses.

He said Pakistan Post will also soon launch a home delivery service to supply essential items to the people at their doorsteps.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Utility Stores Corporation told the Prime Minister that provision of six billion rupees to the corporation will help visibly bring down the prices of essential commodities.

The Prime Minister was informed that the funds will help reduce the twenty kg flour bag price by 132 rupees, sugar nine rupees per kilogram, ghee thirty rupees per kg, twenty rupees rice per kilogram and the prices of pulses will also go down by fifteen rupees.

The Prime Minister was also informed about the steps being taken to check corruption in the Utility Stores Corporation and ensure adequate supplies of essential commodities at the utility outlets. The Prime Minister directed that information technology should be used to check corruption in the Utility Stores.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Special Assistant on Social Welfare Dr Sania Nishter, secretaries and additional secretaries of the ministries of Finance, Planning, Communication, National Food Security and Industries, USC chairman and managing director, Chief Commissioner Islamabad and other senior officers.