LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that government was launching a revolutionary programme of providing direct targeted subsidy to extremely low-income families to reduce their financial burden and billions of rupees have been allocated for this purpose.
He was presiding over a high-level meeting on Tuesday, attended by Provincial Minister for Food Bilal Yasin, Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, secretary food, secretary information, director food and other officers concerned.
He said that in first phase of the Punjab Khidmat Programme, more than 1.3 million low-income families would be provided direct targeted subsidy. He said for the purpose of ensuring transparency in the implementation of the programme, Special Khidmat Cards would be issued through which low-income families would be able to receive Rs 1,000 cash on monthly basis.
Progress of the programme was reviewed in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that welfare and provision of relief to the deprived segments was the top priority of the government and the programme of providing direct targeted subsidy through Punjab Khidmat Card had been evolved for reducing financial burden on deprived families.
The programme will start from 2014. He said that data of the poorest of the poor families had been compiled in a transparent manner and Special Khidmat Cards bearing the name of the head of the family and his computerised national identity card number would be issued for this purpose. He said that the card will be valid for five years. He said that a modern monitoring system will be evolved for transparent implementation of Punjab Khidmat Programme and third-party audit system will also be introduced. Shahbaz said that resources were a trust of the nation and PML-N government would utilize every penny of public money in a transparent manner so that maximum number of people could benefit from this revolutionary programme. He said that every step of the Punjab government was aimed at welfare of the common man.
The chief minister said that a huge sum of Rs 6 billion had been allocated in the current fiscal year for providing targeted subsidy to the poorest families through Khidmat Card programme and more funds will be allocated for this programme in the next fiscal year. The chief minister directed the authorities concerned that the programme of provision of subsidy to the poorest families be implemented as soon as possible so that they could be provided relief at the earliest.
He said that for the purpose of implementation of the subsidy programme institutional a mechanism was being given a final shape so that speedy and transparent implementation of the programme could be ensured. The meeting was also given a briefing regarding important features of the targeted subsidy programme and the record of the extremely low-income families.
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