Event Title: Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production held at Parliament House with Senator Khalida Ateeb in Chair.
Event Date: 2023-03-07
The Senate body was briefed about the measures taken so far by Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to ensure availability of basic necessities to general masses. Muhammad Ali Amir, MD Utility Stores Corporation, apprised the Committee that USC has stock of around 1921.50 Metric Tons Flour, 10312.69 Metric Ton Sugar, 1389.94 Metric Ton Ghee, 511.68 Metric Ton Dal Channa, 304.06 Metric Ton Dal Masoor, 391.96 Metric Ton White Gram, 1174.46 Metric Ton Rice Basamti, 611.42 Metric Rice Sella, 1018.59 Metric Ton Broken Rice in nine different zones of the country. Senator Zeeshan Khanzada inquired as to what criteria USC is implying to provide subsidy to general public. MD USC stated that Government is providing targeted subsidy which includes individuals having montly income below Rs.29,000 and registered with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). He further added that Government is providing 1.6 Billion Rupees subsidy every month and huge bulk is being spent on Flour, a subsidy of around Rs.62 is being given on per kg flour. Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee questioned as to what measures have been taken to curb the malpractices being committed at Utility Store Corporation. Muhammad Ali Amir replied that USC was manually running its operations from the last 50 years and as of now, a real time inventory project has been initiated, and it aimed to digitalised the whole system and proved an effective tool against malpractices.
Moreover, the Senate Committee was apprised about the special measures taken by Government of Pakistan for Ramzan Mubarak to provide basic necessities to public at large. Muhammad Ali Amir, MD USC, informed that Rs. 5 Billion subsidy has been fixed on 19 basic items for targeted and general public. Senator Khalida Ateeb asked as to how USC will determine the deserving and non deserving individuals. MD USC stated that the individuals registered with BISP are declared as targeted or deserving individuals. The Chairman Committee recommended to incorporate more families under the umbrella of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
Furthermore, as to Budgetary Proposals relating to Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the financial year 2023-24 of Ministry of Industries and Production. Momin Agha, Additional Secretary Incharge for Ministry of Industries and Production, informed the committee that a total of 21 projects have been enlisted for Financial year 2023-24, which includes 17 ongoing and 04 new projects with a total cost of Rs. 19,013 Million. Senator Khalida Ateeb remarked that projects which aims to boast the economy and enhance exports, should be encouraged in the present economic scenario.
The meeting was attended by Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman, Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Hidayat Ullah, Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Senator Atta Ur Rehman, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Additional Secretary Incharge for Ministry of Industries and Production Momin Agha, Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation Muhammad Ali Amir and other senior officers of relevant departments were also in attendance.