The Punjab government has decided to close down over 171 Sahulat bazaars across the province and replaced it with model bazaars.
The sahulat bazaars will be shut down in phases and are expected to be closed by February 8.
In the first phase, starting from January 11, only five markets will be set up in each district. These bazaars will be replaced by model markets from January 24. The new markets will be smaller and have different rates.
In the second phase, which will begin from January 25, four Sahulat bazaars will be set up in Lahore and two will be operational in other areas. “By February 8, all these markets will be closed down,” a government official said.
He revealed that a total of 32 model markets will be set up in Punjab, of which 10 will be in Lahore. Sahulat bazaars were set up in the province last year to ensure people could buy daily use items at cheaper and fixed prices.
Meanwhile, the masses reacted sharply to the government decision and demanded the government to review its, saying that amide tsunami of price hike, the closure of sahulat bazaars will add to public problems.
The officials, however, said that the decision has been taken in the light of opinion and survey of deputy commissioners across the province including Lahore.
According to the government plan, five bazaars will be operational in each district from January 11 to January 24. Out of 31 bazaars in Lahore, only 10 bazaars will be operational in the first phase. Two bazaars will be operational in each district from February 25 to 7. Four convenience bazaars will be kept operational, all convenience bazaars of the province will be completely closed on February 8, Commerce and Industries Department has issued a notification. The survey was conducted on the directions of Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik. After the survey, a final decision was taken to keep the convenience bazaars operational.