CS sets up body to decrease veg prices


The Punjab chief secretary directed the authorities of the provincial agriculture department to get approved as early as possible the rules of the Punjab Agriculture Marketing Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) Act, which was introduced to modernize the system of agricultural markets to effectively control prices of agricultural commodities, including vegetables.
He was presiding over a daily-review meeting of the price control committee. The CS said that as per directives of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister, sale of essential commodities, especially flour and sugar at fixed prices would be ensured at all costs. The establishment of Sahulat bazaars and other concrete steps were being taken in the province.
The CS said that the main reason for the clear difference in the prices of vegetables in various cities was the outdated system of the auction in the markets. He said that in order to provide relief to the consumers, the monopoly of middlemen and commission agents has to be ended.
He said that the direct sale of agricultural commodities by farmers to consumers would help limit the role of middlemen. To bring down the prices of vegetables immediately, the CS set up an eight-member committee headed by the secretary industries department and tasked it with presenting recommendations within two days.
The members of the committee include the special secretary of agriculture marketing, three divisional commissioners, and three deputy commissioners.
The Chief Secretary directed the Punjab cane commissioner to ensure that a sufficient quantity of sugar is available at the price not more than Rs85 per kg in Sahulat bazaars.
He also issued instructions regarding geo-tagging of all Sahulat bazaars. He remarked that there could be no greater service than providing relief to the common man and for this, the officers should perform their duties diligently and honestly without accepting any pressure.
He mentioned that a deputy commissioner who could not bear the pressure had no right to hold the coveted post.
The industries secretary gave a detailed briefing to the meeting on Sahulat bazaars, and prices and availability of commodities.
The meeting was attended by the additional chief secretary (south Punjab), secretary food, CEO Urban Unit, Chairman PITB, commissioner Lahore, and special secretary agriculture marketing. The divisional commissioners, RPOs, deputy commissioners, and DPOs participated through video link.

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