Altaf Hamid Rao.
Muzaffarabad/MIRPUR [AJK], (Parliament Times) : Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Tanvir Ilyas Khan said that the food subsidy offered by the government was meant to provide relief to weaker and economically underprivileged segments of the society.
Addressing a high level meeting of the Department of Food here today the PM said, “The benefit of the subsidy should be given to the economically underprivileged people and a comprehensive mechanism should be evolved so that the poor and deserving people could avail this opportunity offered by the government”. He said that a proper survey should be conducted on subsidies offered on flour to evolve a comprehensive mechanism. “Only deserving people should get cheap flour”, the PM said, adding that instead of taking advantage of the scheme the well-off people who were rich enough to fulfill their requirements of life should come forward and help the government in its efforts to establish a welfare society.
The PM directed the Food department officials to take immediate steps to meet the food requirement of the people so that there is no shortage of flour in any part of the AJK. “In particular, the shortage of wheat grain in the areas adjacent to Line of Control and other remote areas should be met immediately”, he said, adding that steps should also be taken to prevent smuggling of grain outside Azad Kashmir.
Earlier, Secretary Food Mansoor Qadir Dar briefed Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan and Food Minister Ali Shan Soni about the details of food requirements including demand and supply, transportation and grinding of wheat in Azad Kashmir. Chief Secretary Muhammad Usman Chachar, Secretary Finance Ismatullah Shah, Secretary Food Mansoor Qadir Darud and others were presenting in the briefing.
The Prime Minister was told that at the time the subsidy of more than 22 rupees per kg was given on wheat.
Secretary Food also informed the PM about the situation of grain supply and its demand and said that the quantity of flour sold in the open market has increased enormously due to which the department was facing severe difficulties.
The Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir also asked the Food Department to contact the landowners for the purchase of wheat from different cities of Pakistan.