Govt to provide Rs125bn subsidy to common man: Tarin

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that the government will provide targeted subsidies, worth Rs125 billion, from this month to facilitate common man.

In an interview with a private television channel on Saturday, the finance minister said the government is working to eliminate poverty by taking bold steps.

He said the government has decided to intervene in the market to partially reduce prices of essential food items, including sugar, flour and pulses. The interventions in the market will be in three forms — Utility Stores, open market interventions and targeted subsidies to weak segments of society. “We have allocated Rs125 billion for a targeted subsidy for 12.5 million households,” Tarin said.

As part of the package, the government has decided to reduce sales tax on edible oil/ghee to give immediate relief to consumers. “We have estimated that a reduction in sales tax rate will translate into the decrease of Rs50 per litre in the prices of edible oil/ghee,” Tarin said. This benefit would be available to all segments of society in the open market, he added.

He said that six million families are being covered by Ehsaas programme while 15 million families were provided assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. He said the government is launching a new program from Monday under which interest-free loans for the period of three years will be provided for business.