Islamabad withdraws subsidy on wheat, prices to be raised gradually

Islamabad withdraws subsidy on wheat, prices to be raised gradually

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PT Report

Gilgit, February 2: The Pakistan Peoples Party led coalition government has withdrawn the wheat subsidy provided to Gilgit – Baltistan since the time of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

According to sources, the prices of wheat and flour will be gradually be increased over the next several months to manage  public backlash and fury.

After today’s decision a sack of wheat will cost 1125 rupees, 300 more than the subsidized price.

PPP sources are reportedly trying to persuade Islamabad for continuation of the subsidy.

It is pertinent to note that ZAB had subsidized wheat for the people of GB in view of the region’s higher poverty index and remoteness. In absence of significant agricultural land and industrial zones and reduction in tourism revenues, Gilgit – Baltistan is perpetually plagued by a weak economy. The region is considered to be among the most food-insecure regions of the world.

The decision to withdraw this vital subsidy has come as a surprise.

Many people are questioning the regime’s economic policies, in which NCP vehicles are being released to the relatively well-off individuals, but the impoverished are further weakened by withdrawal of wheat-subsidy.

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Pamir Times is the pioneering community news and views portal of Gilgit – Baltistan, Kohistan, Chitral and the surrounding mountain areas. It is a voluntary, not-for-profit, non-partisan and independent venture initiated by the youth.