SC seeks subsidy report from Sindh, Balochistan

  • Instructs provinces to adopt modern mechanism to control prices of edibles and ensure provision of subsidised flour to poor





The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday directed the provincial governments to ensure provision of subsidised flour to the poor, instructing them to adopt modern techniques to control the prices of edible items.

While hearing Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaquat Baloch’s petition against high flour prices in the country, a two-member SC bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman directed Sindh and Balochistan governments to submit a detailed report regarding provision of subsidised edible items to the poor. The court also directed the provinces to establish monitoring cells to control food prices.

During the course of proceedings, National Food Security Secretary Seerat Asghar told the court that the federal government was providing subsidy worth billions of rupees to the poor through Baitul Mal, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Utility Stores Corporation. He said that the government had also raised the issue in Council of Common Interest (CCI), also asking the provinces to furnish durable solutions for price control.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Advocate General Latif Yousafzai informed the court that the KP government was planning to provide targeted subsidy to poor from July 22. He said that concession amounting to Rs 10 on one kilogramme (kg) of flour and Rs 40 on one kg of ghee would be provided.

Moreover, Punjab Advocate General Hanif Khatana told the court that the Punjab government would provide Rs 7,200 as annual subsidy to the deserving and in this regard all arrangements would be completed by June 2015.

Furthermore, the Balochistan advocate general informed the court that the provincial government was collecting data to provide subsidy to the deserving people while the Sindh advocate general said that the Sindh government had increased subsidy from Rs 3 billion to Rs 4.6 billion.

After hearing the provinces’ account, Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that everything was on papers and nothing seemed practical. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till August 20.