ISLAMABAD : Utility Stores Corporation will facilitate Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution beneficiaries through a Sahulat Card to procure basic food times on subsidized rates. An agreement to this effect was signed in Islamabad in Friday in the presence of Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqr Bokhari and Chairman USC Zulqarnain Khan. Sahulat Card holders will procure basic food items like flour, rice, pulses, cooking oil, and sugar. Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari says Sahulat Card is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for the state of Madinah which will benefit around 8 million people to provide upto 10 percent subsidy. He was addressing a press conference along with Chairman Utility Stores Zulqarnain Ali Khan and Chairman EOBI Azhar Hameed in Islamabad today. “The partnership between EOBI and USC is a landmark initiative for giving an impetus to the government departments’ efforts in materializing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to transform the country into a Madina-like welfare state,” he said. Zulfikar Bukhari said under the project, the card holding EOBI pensioners and insured person would get a subsidy of about Rs 1,000 per month on five essential food items such as wheat flour, oil, rice, grains and pulse. He said within just 20 months of its term, the government had increased the annuity of EOBI pensioners from Rs 5,250 to 8,500 which would be further upped to Rs 15,000 till end of its tenure. The SAPM said the collaboration between the two organizations was meant to serve low-income people by giving them ration at the low rates. The card holders might even get more than 10 per cent discount on some edibles out of the selected food staples. Zulfikar Bukhari urged the EOBI registered person to avail the card after its launch as the USC intended to add more facilities under this initiative. He said an extensive awareness campaign would be launched on electronic, print and social media to aware the EOBI pensioners and insured persons on it to make them get maximum benefit from the opportunity. EOBI Chairman Azhar Hameed said the ‘EOBI Sahulat Card’ would be launched by early next month (August). “In a first, there will be a soft launch of initiative and hundreds of people would be provided the card.” Later, the EOBI would start issuing cards to all of its beneficiaries, verified by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The USC Chairman Zulqarnain Ali Khan said the initiative was taken on the instruction of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had been strong proponent of uplifting the living standard of downtrodden segment of the society.