ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the provincial governments to develop an effective mechanism for monitoring and controlling the prices of food commodities in their provinces.

Advocates General of Sindh and Balochistan submitted separate reports about the subsidy given by their respective governments to the poor people. A two-member bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal heard the suo moto case initiated on the application of Jamat-e-Islami ameer.

Secretary Ministry of National Food and Research informed the bench that the federal government was providing billion of rupees subsidy through Baitul Maal, Benazir Income Support Programme and Utility Stores for the poor. He said that the Economic Coordination Committee in its last meeting had taken up the price hike issue to solve it permanently.

During the proceedings, Advocate General Khyber KPK Latif Yousafzai told the court that the provincial government from July 22 would provide targeted subsidy Rs10 on flour and Rs40 on ghee. Hanif Khattana, AAG Punjab, informed the bench that the provincial government in subsidy would provide Rs7200 annually to the deserving people. All the arrangements in that regarded would be completed by June 2015 and from July 2015 the subsidy would be given to the poor people.

Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that the provincial governments should develop an effective mechanism for monitoring and controlling the price of food commodities. The Advocate General Balochistan apprised the bench that they were collecting data of most deserving people in the province to whom the subsidy be given.

The Sindh top law officer informed that the provincial government has increased the subsidy from Rs3 billion to Rs4.6 billion.

Justice Ejaz observed that all that seemed to be confined to paperwork, as the benefit of it not reaching to the poor people.

The court directing the Sindh and Balochistan law officers to submit a comprehensive plan for subsidy for poor masses and adjourned the hearing till August 20.