ISLAMABAD: According to a government official, the government is putting out every efforts to offset the impact of rising commodity prices on the global market.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, speaking to reporters outside Parliament House with Minister of Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, said that the provinces are responsible for managing commodity pricing.
He added that in provinces where the Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf (PTI) is in power, tangible efforts are being made to regulate pricing and stern action is being taken against profiteers, adding that a 20kg bag of grain costs Rs1,100 in Punjab and Rs1,400 in Sindh.
Such a large disparity in the pricing of edibles demonstrated the ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s incompetence, he said, adding that the government was striving to improve food security by building ten new dams and irrigating over 13 million acres of land.
At the now, just 50 million acres of land are irrigated, but this number will rise as new dams are built.
He said that the development of new dams will add 10,000MW to the system, which would help lower electricity tariffs, and that for the first time, Pakistan has begun growing olives, which were formerly grown in Potohar, Waziristan, and Balochistan.
According to the FAO report, inflation-wise September 2021 was the costliest month in history.
Habib said that Opec has been asked to increase oil production to stabilise the prices of petroleum products.
Despite all odds, the government was making all-out efforts to minimise the impact of international inflation on the consumers.
Since January this year, the government has continuously reduced sales tax on petroleum products, he said, adding that the PTI government first reduced sales tax on petrol from 17 per cent to 11.5 per cent and now it has been reduced to 6.8 per cent.
If the government has not reduced taxes on petroleum products, their prices could have crossed Rs150-mark, he said, adding that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs186 billion revenue, more than the target of Rs121 billion for the first quarter.
This was proof that Pakistan’s economy was moving forward, he said, adding that when the PML-N came to power, it increased the sales tax on petroleum products to 17 per cent.
He said 30 microfinance institutions have been involved in providing loans to the youth under the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
The interest-free loans under the Kamyab Jawan Programme would be given in backward areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab and Sindh, he said, adding that 22 billion loans have been provided to 18,000 people under the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
He said a Rs260 billion budget has been allocated for the Ehsaas Programme, while 50,000 students would be given scholarships.