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Edibles eat Rs8.4bn subsidy this year

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Industries and Production Dr Ayatullah Durrani Friday informed the National Assembly that the government has provided subsidy worth Rs8.4 billion on various edible items through Utility Stores Corporation (USC) during the current year. The concessions provided through Ramdan Relief Package were part of the subsidy provided during 2010-11, he told the house during the question hour.
He said that at present sugar is being sold at USC outlets on subsidised rates and the amount of  per kilogramme subsidy is about Rs13.57. He said that prices of sugar at the international market have also affected sugar market in Pakistan and despite that fact the USC was providing the commodity on subsidised rates as compared to the open market. He expressed the hope that the sugar prices would further come down in the coming days.

Speaking about the quality of sugar, the minister said that the government never compromises on the quality of sugar adding that the quality of  imported sugar is also being monitored by the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). The minister said that the local production of cars during 2009-10 stood at 121,790. “All cars/automobile manufactures are in private sector and prices are governed by market mechanism only and the government has no control on the price,” he said.
However, he said, the government in its efforts to stabilise prices has increased the age limit of imported used cars from three to five years under gift, transfer of residence, and personal baggage schemes. To a supplementary question, the minister said that all the spare parts except gear-boxes of cars are being locally manufactured.
He said energy crisis and dollar rate are the main reasons for car price hike.
Parliamentary secretary for education Mir Gul Muhammad Khan Jakhrani apprised the House that under the new education policy, the government would allocate 7 per cent of GDP to education by 2015. Minister for Labour, Manpower and Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid
Shah said that Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) has launched housing schemes for low-paid government employees in sector G-10/2 and G-11/3, Islamabad and Wafaqi Colony Lahore in 2008. PHA also launched housing schemes in Quetta in 2008 for federal government employees but response from employees is not encouraging, he added. The minister said that now there is a proposal under consideration to allocate plots to them.-APP


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