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Here’s how you can get essential food items at subsidised rates

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Under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s relief package, essential food items will be provided at subsidised rates at the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets across the country from today (Sunday).

Keeping in mind the difficulties and problems faced by the people, PM Shehbaz announced the provision of targeted subsidies on basic food items through USC. These items include flour, sugar, ghee, rice and pulses.

Consumers enrolled in the Benazir Income support Programme (BISP) are eligible to get food items at subsidised rates from the USC outlets.

The corporation has asked its all customers to SMS their CNIC numbers from their mobile phones to 5566 and they will receive a one-time password after which they can avail subsidy and purchase items.

In June 2022, the premier decided in principle that the government would provide flour, ghee, cooking oil, pulses, rice and sugar at low prices during the fiscal year 2022-23.

Details of the package

For the registered consumers with BISP, the essential food items will be available at the following rates:

  • Flour — Rs400 per 10 kg bag
  • Ghee — Rs300 per kg 
  • Sugar — Rs70 per kg

Meanwhile, Rs15 to Rs20 will be saved on rice and pulses per kg, however, the monthly purchase limit for the consumers is also fixed.

According to the purchase limits, a consumer would be able to purchase 40kg of flour, 5kg of sugar and 5kg of ghee monthly, besides, all other consumers of Utility Stores Corporation will also be provided subsidies on these five food items under the relief package.

For the other consumers, the prices will be as follows:

  • Flour — Rs648 per 10kg bag
  • Ghee — Rs375 per kg 
  • Sugar — Rs 89 per kg

Whereas, a Rs15 to Rs20 per kg discount on the purchase of pulses and rice will also be provided to consumers other than those registered with BISP.

The monthly purchase limit for these consumers is also set according to which they can buy 20kg of flour, 3kg of sugar, and 3kg of ghee.

For the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the flour will be provided for Rs400 per 10 kg bag at all the sales points and mobile stores established on the instruction of the prime minister.

Business

The gold price in Pakistan today

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According to the All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association, the price of 10 grammes of 24 karat gold increased by Rs772 to Rs184,928 from Rs184,156, while the price of 10 grammes of 22 carat gold increased to Rs169,517 from Rs168,810.

These oscillations are strongly correlated with shifts in the US dollar’s value, demonstrating the complex interplay between gold prices and exchange rates.

This emphasises how local gold prices are impacted by events related to the global economy.

On the other hand, the cost of 24-karat silver was constant at Rs 2,570. Globally, too, the price of gold increased somewhat by $9 to $2,057 per ounce.

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Pakistan receives a $2 billion loan from China, according to the finance minister

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The $2 billion loan was one year ahead of schedule and became due in March. According to reports, Beijing had informed Islamabad of the decision.

The International Monetary Fund granted Pakistan’s cash-strapped economy a $3 billion standby arrangement last summer, but the country is still battling to recover from the financial crisis.

According to ratings firm Fitch, one of the top concerns confronting the next administration would be obtaining funding from bilateral and multilateral partners due to Pakistan’s precarious foreign situation, as was stated last week.

This event occurs one month after Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister, asked for a $2 billion loan to be rolled over for a year in a letter to his Chinese counterpart.

In his letter, Kakar also expressed gratitude for China’s efforts to lessen Pakistan’s load

of foreign payments.

It is to be noted that Pakistan acquired safe deposits of $4 billion from China to address the balance of payments issue.

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“Ready to work with Pakistan’s new government,” the IMF said.

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In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

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