Babus, minister huddle reviews price-hike, hoarding

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To ensure availability of essential commodities at fixed prices, a crackdown on profiteers is underway across the province and during the current month 47 persons were arrested, and 42 cases were registered, besides imposition of a fine of about Rs6 million on profiteers.
This was stated during a briefing at a meeting chaired by Punjab Industries and Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal at Chief Secretary’s Office.
The Punjab Chief Secretary, administrative secretaries of relevant departments including Food, Agriculture and Industries, CEO Urban Unit, and Commissioner Lahore Division attended the meeting whereas all the divisional commissioners participated in the meeting through video link. The meeting reviewed prices and availability of essential commodities, especially flour and sugar, performance of price control magistrates, and strategy to contain prices of eatables. The meeting decided to take unconventional and innovative measures to overcome the issue of price-hike.
Speaking at the meeting, the Provincial Minister said that providing relief to the common man is the priority of the government and no compromise will be made on this important issue.
He said that the administrative officers would have to ensure the implementation of the fixed rates. He directed that the prices of vegetables and other commodities including tomatoes and onions should be closely monitored and the Agriculture Department must play an active role in ensuring the availability of these items.
The chief secretary said that as per the directives of the Prime Minister and the Punjab chief minister, steps would be taken under a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem of artificial price-hike, adding that no laxity on part of government officials would be tolerated in this regard. He ordered the officers to step up crackdown on profiteers, hoarders, and those creating artificial dearness across the province.
The chief secretary directed that in order to ensure the availability of flour at fixed prices, the process of supply of subsidized government wheat to the flour mills, its grinding, and supply in the market be fully monitored and action be taken against the mills which do not use for grinding whole wheat provided to them under the government quota. He also issued instructions regarding the display of rate lists at shops and utilizing services of Tiger Force for price control measures.

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