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Flour, sugar prices slashed

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday announced a mega relief for public in the holy month of Ramazan after the Federal Cabinet reduced the prices of sugar and flour.

Briefing the media persons at the National Press Club here after the Federal Cabinet meeting, she said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, since assuming the office, gave meticulous focus on providing instant relief to the masses particularly in the holy month of Ramazan.

Flanked by Minister of Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail, she said the cabinet had fixed Rs 400 price for 10 kilogram sack of flour and Rs 70 per kg for sugar at the Ramazan Bazars and Utility Stores. 10 kg flour bag rate was reduced by Rs 150 while Rs 10 of the per kg sweetener.

10 kg wheat flour sack would be sold at Rs 400 across the province, thus not limited to the Utility Stores and Ramazan Bazaars, she noted.

Marriyum said the Chief Secretary of Punjab had been directed to ensure uninterrupted wheat and sugar supply to Gilgit Baltistan. Likewise, it has been decided at the Cabinet that the Federal Government would ensure smooth supply of the commodities to Balochistan.

She said at provincial level, Chief Secretaries would monitor the supply of essential items while overall monitoring would be done by PM Shehbaz Sharif.

Lamenting poor economic policies of the previous regime that not only had a devastating impact the national economy, but also affected the common man in terms of household expenditures and medicines, she said solution of the economic challenges faced by the country was among the priority agenda of the Federal Cabinet which included almost all the coalition partners of the PML-N government.

Among other decisions, she said the Federal Cabinet had accorded approval for formation of a new committee which was mandated to furnish a report on overhauling the Exit Control List’s (ECL) rules, allegedly misused by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

The committee, headed by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, also included Minister for Commerce Naveed Qamar, Minister for Communications Asad Mahmood and Ayaz Sadiq.

She said the committee, whose Terms of Reference had been finalized, was asked to submit the report to the Federal Cabinet within three days.

It would also brief the Cabinet at the next meeting that how the ECL law was misused during the tenure of PTI government, she added.

Marriyum said the last committee of previous Federal Cabinet on ECL was formed on in December 2020 and headed by the then Accountability Advisor Shehzad Akbar who got dictations from Imran Khan.

She said the PTI government used the ECL or watch list to politically victimize its opponents under the garb of accountability during the last four years of Imran Khan’s rule who, himself, was accused of all those allegations he had put on their opponents.

There was a complete process for placing name of a person on such list but in the previous government, it was Imran Khan who ultimately decided who to stay on it, she alleged.

The minister added that efforts were being made to review the ECL related law so that it could not be used against anyone in the future.

She recalled that a full-fledged and so-called accountability campaign was launched against the government officers, parliamentarians, and journalists who ultimately fell prey to the NAB-Niazi nexus.

The PTI government even failed to prove accusations against a single politician in the court, she added.

She said a senior officer had told PM Shehbaz Sharif during the power sector briefing that he did not do any work during the last four years owing to the fear of National Accountability Beuearu (NAB).

Marriyum lashed out at the PTI government for influencing state institutions including FIA to carry out witch hunt against their opponents.

“Imran Khan used FIA against Shehbaz Sharif out of his personal grudge,” she added.
She said the Federal Cabinet today had approved the appointment of Tahir Rai as Director General of FIA. | YouTube Channel

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.