KP govt launches special food package for poor



PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to launch special food package for the poor July 22 onwards, and all the arrangements have been finalised for this purpose.
This programme is being initiated in all districts of the province simultaneously on the special directives of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and it will continue till the end of this fiscal year, a statement from the CM office said.
About 0.9 million families comprising of 5.5 million poor people will be directly benefiting from this programme, with each person availing Rs 600 per month subsidy on 40 kg wheat flour and 5 kg ghee at any nearest Utility Store. 
An agreement has been made with Utility Stores Corporation (USC) by the KP govt for the purpose while agreement with a mobile service provider is in its final stages where a registered person will avail the subsidised flour and ghee at any Utility Store after an official confirmation from the mobile service provider through an SMS. It is expected that PTI Chairman Imran Khan will be the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony of this welfare programme.
It was revealed in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak at CM Secretariat with regards to giving final shape to arrangements of the package announced in the budget for provision of cheap flour and ghee to the poor. 
Those who attended included Provincial Minister for Food Qalandar Khan Lodhi, Minister for PHE Shah Farman Khan, Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan, Additional Chief Secretary Khalid Pervez, Programme Coordinator Tashfeen Haider and administrative secretaries and authorities of the departments of Finance, P&D, Food and Information Technology besides PTI provincial chief Azam Khan Swati and General Secretary Khalid Masood wherein the salient features of the programme were discussed and decisions taken.
It was decided that food stamps or vouchers would be issued to the poor during Ramazan, and as quick relief Insaf Smart cards will be provided to the deserving persons after Eid, as long-term arrangements are to be confirmed at Utility Stores through mobile service providers.
The chief minister said launching the programme at an early time and unified manner in all districts of the province during the current holy month of Ramazan is a good omen. He directed for the successful continuation of the programme during the entire financial year. So that, he added, the poorest families could take direct benefit from this welfare scheme.
The meeting was told that for guaranteeing speedy implementation of the package, the list prepared beforehand under the survey of poor families conducted for Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has been obtained. Under the scheme destitute families will be given a subsidy of Rs 10 per kg on flour and Rs 40 per kg on ghee. The programme will benefit more than 0.97 million poor families and about 5.5 million poor all over the province. The provincial government had allocated a fund of Rs 8 billion for the programme.
While issuing directives for extending maximum relief to the poor and adoption of simplified and facilitative procedure, Pervez Khattak said that the PTI-led coalition government would spare no efforts to allocate more resources for provision of relief to the people. 
He said that his government instead of over-burdening the people with new taxes had uprooted the practices of corruption, stopped wastage of resources and ensured fair and judicious utilisation of the development funds. 
These measures of the government, he said, started bearing fruits. During the current financial year, he said, though we are giving temporary relief to the poorest classes, but his efforts are on that from next financial year that all people of the province will get equal relief while their socio-economic lot will also be ameliorated.

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