Pakistan Govt announces $25.5 million Ramadan relief package as inflation soars

The Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif led Pakistan government on March 7 announced a Rs7.5 billion ($25.6 million) Ramadan package to lower the prices of essential items for the poor amid soaring inflation in the country.

“During the holy month of Ramadan, over 30,96,00,000 families will be provided food items at cheap prices,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. The package includes a subsidy of Rs77 per kg on a 20kg bag of flour and a Rs70 per kg subsidy on ghee.

“The Prime Minister’s Ramadan Relief Package is being distributed to deserving families through 4,775 utility stores across the country,” the PMO said.

The PM office said food items will be provided at subsidized rates with immediate effect and would continue till the last day of Ramadan.

Who can avail this Ramadan relief package?

The deserving people can check their eligibility for Ramadan subsidy on the Utility Stores website here. Those not mentioned in this eligibility list can get registered at either the BISP office or relevant counters at the nearby Utility Stores.

Ramadan relief package 2024 by Pakistan government
Ramadan relief package 2024 by Pakistan government. (Image Credit: USC)

Sindh relief package

Separately, Sindh government, led by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, announced a Rs22.5 billion Ramazan package to ease financial burdens on the people. As part of the initiative, 60% of Sindh’s population, particularly those who earn a minimum wage of about Rs35,000 ($126) per month, would be benefited.

The package will include Rs5,000 cash grant to financially vulnerable families through banking system, providing relief to approximately 4.5 million minimum wage families in the province.

 “Murad Ali Shah instructed the chief secretary [of the province] to determine the number of eligible families to ensure that no one is left behind,” an official statement said. “He also directed him to talk to the banks to distribute the allocated Rs. 22.5 billion.”

Punjab Ramadan package

Punjab government also unveiled the Ramazan Nigahban Package to provide relief to more than 30 million deserving people across the province.

As part of the package, 6.5 million hampers containing QR codes will be provided to deserving families, eliminating the need for individuals to wait in long queues while fasting.

Around 80 thousand hampers, including 10 kilogram of flour, 2 kilogram of sugar, 2 kilogram of ghee, 2 kilogram of gram flour, and other essential items, have already been distributed.

(Cconversion rate on March 8, 2024: USD 1 = PKR 281.9)

Pakistan Utility Stores network
Pakistan Utility Stores network. (Image Credit: USC)

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