LAHORE - The provincial capital’s Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets have achieved the Ramazan sales target before the conclusion of the holy month, as all outlets of the USC have recorded sales of around Rs 1.2 billion so far.

The official sources of the USC Lahore north region told The Nation that the region was given target of Rs 600 million for the holly month while the same target was given to the all outlets of the south region. They said that north region till the end of the month will achieve sales target of around Rs650 million due to availability of subsidized kitchen items in all USC stores. They said competitive rates of edibles have attracted the customers of all classes and huge rush of customers was seen at Utility Stores during the whole month of Ramazan.

They said that a total sales target of Rs 20 billion has been set for the month of Ramazan, whereas during last Ramazan, the USC achieved the sale target of Rs15 billion. “We expect that the sales target for this month will be easily achieved owing to the record sale this year at the USC outlets across the country,” they said.

The official of the Corporation said that as there was big difference in price of sugar (Rs15 per kg) with the open market, some people are purchasing the commodity in bulks which is causing shortage of sugar. They said each and every outlet have been provided sufficient stock of essential commodities including sugar as per their requirements, but demand of sugar increased with beginning of the holy month.

The official said that management has decided to further strengthen the communication with the zonal offices to provide them abundant stock of sugar, rice and other commodities to facilitate the masses during the holy month.

The utility store AG Office manager said although sugar is available here but for limited time only and there is no sufficient stock of sugar available here too. He, however, seemed to be satisfied with the subsidy offered by the government saying the government has provided big relief to the poor by giving subsidy on essential items including sugar, wheat flour and cooking oil.

Mozang Road store manager Arshad Bhatti said that due to the attractive Ramazan package, a record sale is going on at the USC stores across the country. He said that the target of whole month of Ramazan has been achieved in just 20 days, the store manager added. He said that keeping in view of the directives of the USC Managing Director as well as the regional and zonal managers, a huge stock of quality items was available at his USC Mozang branch. He said that so far no complaint of quality or shortage of items had been received at his store.

Arshad Bhatti informed that surveillance teams of the corporation were strictly monitoring the quality, sales and services of the products across the country and any official involved in any mail practice would be dealt with iron hands.

He said that unprecedented rush of customers was being witnessed at the outlets of Utility Stores here due to substantial subsidy provided by the government to facilitate the public through its Ramazan Relief Package.

The manager said that provision of qualitative products on economical rates for the masses during the holy month of Ramadan and afterward was the top priority of the government.

The visitors demanded of the govt to continue the subsidy even after the holly month to facilitate the public.

The visitors of the AG Office and Mozang Road branch USC outlets said there was substantial price difference between the prices being charged by Utility Stores and open Market. “The prices being charged by Utility Stores are less even from the Sasta Bazars”, they added.

“The quality of the commodities and other branded items being retailed at Utility Stores Corporation outlets is also up to the required standard”, the visitors added. They said that stalls in subsidised bazaars, operating under the district administration, are selling stale meat and substandard fruits to the dismay of common people.