Commodities’ prices significantly reduced due to prudent policies: Marriyum

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb says prices of essential commodities have significantly reduced due to prudent policies of the government.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday, she said the government is determined to control inflation and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is himself monitoring the relief measures so that their benefit reaches the common man.

The Minister said price of flour has decreased by 35-40 rupees per kg, cooking oil by 60-70 rupees, LPG cylinder for domestic consumers has been reduced by 438 rupees from 2759 to 2321 rupees while commercial LPG cylinders price slashed by 1686 rupees from 10619 to 8, 933.  

She said strict punitive action is being taken against people who are involved in hoarding or artificial price hike.

Marriyum Aurangzeb said the coalition government inherited a tattered economy but one year of our relentless efforts are yielding results as economic indicators have started an upward trajectory. She said today dollar prices slashed by 27 rupees.

She said the agriculture policy institute has been revived and work on seed variation is underway on immediate basis for making the country self-reliant in cooking oil production.

She said political and economic stability of the country is the topmost priority of the coalition government.

Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Prime Minister has started consultations on upcoming budget proposals for various sectors including agriculture and industry.

She said Kamyab Jawan Program, Benazir Income support program have been revived to impart maximum benefit to the beneficiaries of these program.

The Minister said farmers have been provided relief under the historic Kisaan Package and subsidies on fertilizers, and solarization of agriculture tubewells will be part of  the upcoming budget proposals for agriculture sector.  She said healthcard budget will also be increased this year.

She lamented how the IMF program was suspended by the previous government but today we are trying to fulfill even the most difficult conditions of the IMF to complete the program.

The Minister said as political panic dives down, economic panic also wanes. She said while the PML-N led coalition government tried every bit during the last one year to revive the economy, the mindset of hatred , polarization and violence continued to impede our way by violent protests, sit-ins and attacking national institutions and memorials of national heroes.

Answering a question regarding the delay in the salaries and pensions of Radio Pakistan’s employees, the Minister said their salaries and pensions are being paid through supplementary grants. She said the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet has already approved a supplementary grant for the salaries and pensions of the Radio Pakistan’s employees. She said the government is working on a business plan to make the state broadcaster financially self-sufficient and a profit-making entity.

Regarding the lags in the pensions and commutations of Radio Pakistan’s retired employees, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that payments of these amounts will be ensured through sufficient allocation of funds in the budget.