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Here’s how you can get essential food items at subsidised rates

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Under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s relief package, essential food items will be provided at subsidised rates at the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets across the country from today (Sunday).

Keeping in mind the difficulties and problems faced by the people, PM Shehbaz announced the provision of targeted subsidies on basic food items through USC. These items include flour, sugar, ghee, rice and pulses.

Consumers enrolled in the Benazir Income support Programme (BISP) are eligible to get food items at subsidised rates from the USC outlets.

The corporation has asked its all customers to SMS their CNIC numbers from their mobile phones to 5566 and they will receive a one-time password after which they can avail subsidy and purchase items.

In June 2022, the premier decided in principle that the government would provide flour, ghee, cooking oil, pulses, rice and sugar at low prices during the fiscal year 2022-23.

Details of the package

For the registered consumers with BISP, the essential food items will be available at the following rates:

  • Flour — Rs400 per 10 kg bag
  • Ghee — Rs300 per kg 
  • Sugar — Rs70 per kg

Meanwhile, Rs15 to Rs20 will be saved on rice and pulses per kg, however, the monthly purchase limit for the consumers is also fixed.

According to the purchase limits, a consumer would be able to purchase 40kg of flour, 5kg of sugar and 5kg of ghee monthly, besides, all other consumers of Utility Stores Corporation will also be provided subsidies on these five food items under the relief package.

For the other consumers, the prices will be as follows:

  • Flour — Rs648 per 10kg bag
  • Ghee — Rs375 per kg 
  • Sugar — Rs 89 per kg

Whereas, a Rs15 to Rs20 per kg discount on the purchase of pulses and rice will also be provided to consumers other than those registered with BISP.

The monthly purchase limit for these consumers is also set according to which they can buy 20kg of flour, 3kg of sugar, and 3kg of ghee.

For the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the flour will be provided for Rs400 per 10 kg bag at all the sales points and mobile stores established on the instruction of the prime minister.

Business

Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Business

Gold prices in Pakistan have risen by Rs 1,200 per tola.

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The price of one tola of 24 carat gold rose by Rs1,200 and reached Rs246,800 on Thursday, compared to its previous sale price of Rs245,600 on the last trading day.

According to the All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association, the cost of 10 grammes of 24 karat gold rose by Rs1,029 to reach Rs211,591, compared to the previous price of Rs210,562. Similarly, the price of 10 grammes of 22 carat gold jumped from Rs193,016 to Rs193,959.

The price of silver remained unchanged at Rs2,900 per tola and Rs2,486.28 per ten grammes.

According to the association, the international market price of gold rose by $10, reaching $2,382 from $2,372.

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Business

The federal government has declared wage and pension increments for its employees.

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The Ministry of Finance has formally declared a rise in the remuneration and retirement benefits of personnel working for the federal government, offering substantial economic alleviation.

According to the notification, personnel in grades 1 to 16 will experience a 25% increment in their salaries, while officials in grades 17 to 22 will be granted a 20% rise. The implementation of this modification will commence on July 1, 2024, and will be applicable to the employees’ fundamental remuneration.

In addition, retired federal government employees would receive a 15% rise in their pension payments. This increase is applicable to retirees from both the civilian and military sectors. It is important to mention that employees who retire on or after July 1, 2024, will also qualify for this pension rise.

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The 15% increase in pension will be computed based on the amount of pension received by retired employees after deductions. Nevertheless, the letter specifies that ad hoc aid will not be factored into the calculations for pension and gratuity.

Moreover, this increment will have no effect on the calculation of housing rent allowances for employees.

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