Karachi Commissioner’s power to fix milk price challenged in SHC

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The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday issued notices on a petition challenging the district administrations’ power to fix prices of milk and other essential food items.

A two-judge bench of the high court issued notices to the Karachi commissioner, law secretary, director general of the Bureau of Supply and Prices, and other provincial authorities to submit their response to the petition by April 13.

The petitioner stated before the court that the commissioner and assistant commissioners have been empowered to fix and keep a check on the prices of milk and other food items in violation of the law. He said the Sindh government earmarks an annual budget of Rs650 million for as many as 1,163 employees of the Bureau of Supply and Prices.

“The Karachi commissioner was given powers to fix milk prices and conduct raids 12 years back and the department charged with this duty was rendered non-functional through a notification,” he lamented.

Besides, the petitioner stated Hoarding and Black market Act that stipulated punishment for illegal hoarding of essential commodities and Essential Articles (Price Control and Anti-Hoarding) Act, 1953 were brought in but were never implemented. The government had also enacted the Sindh Registration of Godown Act for registration of godowns but it proved futile, he added.

The petitioner pleaded with the court to issue directives for the government to enforce these laws to rid people of hoarders and declare the district administrations’ powers to fix prices of essential food items illegal.

 

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