A man carries a government subsidised flour bag after buying it from a delivery truck in Karachi on January 10, 2023. — INP

ISLAMABAD: The government has finally decided to provide some relief to the country’s inflation-ridden public after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced providing free wheat flour to the poor under the “Ramadan package” — a couple of weeks before the holy month arrives.

As per reports, the month of fasting will likely begin on March 23 or 24.

PM Shehbaz, while chairing a review meeting in Islamabad, said that free flour would be provided to the underprivileged people of Punjab in the first phase under the special Ramadan package.

He also directed relevant authorities to devise a policy at the earliest to provide free flour to poor families under the package.

The federal government, he said, would provide all-out support to the provinces to provide relief to people under the Ramadan package on the pattern of the Punjab model.

The package is the first of its kind aimed at facilitating the poor segment of society.

Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman and Finance Secretary Mujahid Sherdil briefed the prime minister about the Ramadan package. Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Raza Naqvi, secretary food and other senior officials were among the attendees of the meeting.

Uninterrupted availability of edible items

Premier Shehbaz, on February 13, directed the authorities to ensure uninterrupted availability of edible items across the country and take action against hoarders.

He had also directed the establishment of special committees to enhance the supply chain and monitor the rates of vital commodities. He said there is no shortage of essential items in the country, including wheat.

The prime minister had asked the provinces and administrative units to propose a substantial plan in the next review session about ‘Sasta Ramadan Bazaars’ and the supply of crucial items at cheap rates amid the holy month of fasting.

The administration, he had further said, should employ technology to guarantee the stability of rates in Ramadan bazaars.

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