Special Assistant to CM on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday declared that Prime Minister Imran Khan not only has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious lives of miners in Machh area of Balochistan but strongly condemned it as well. “The Pakistani government along with its Armed Forces, stand side by side to curb the menace of terrorism and crush militancy at all costs.”
Dr Firdous regretted that opposition should refrain from politics over dead bodies as it couldn’t hoodwink the masses through its contemptuous tirade against the Prime Minister and state institutions.
SACM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was addressing a press conference after a visit to Sahulat bazaar Mian Plaza, Johar Town on Friday.
The SACM said the Punjab government on the directions of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has set up 350 Sahulat bazaars across the province to ensure provision of affordable and quality essential commodities to the people. 31 Sahulat bazaars are operational only in the provincial capital and providing essential food items to people at cheaper rates.
Talking to media, Dr Firdous said that the government was committed to provide relief to inflation-hit masses and reiterated that protection of consumers’ rights would be ensured. She said that the former government spent millions of rupees on the infrastructure of model bazaars but no relief was given to the masses.
The Special Assistant said that the government was taking strict measures to control inflation and a special task force had been established on the directions of Chief Minister Usman Bazdar. She said that the government was providing essential items in Sahulat bazaars at rates lower than the notified rates. Everything was in abundance and there was no shortage of anything in Punjab, she added. She said that sugar is available at Rs81.5 and a 20kg bag of flour at Rs840 at Sahulat bazaar.
Dr Firdous said that the government imposed Rs4.2 million fine and arrested 304 people on the charges of price hike and hoarding complaints during the last month. In the last three months, flour mills had been fined more than Rs9 lakh while FIRs had been registered against 79 flour mills, she further said. She said that the government would ensure the protection of the rights of the people at all costs.
The SACM said that the government had devised a digital mechanism to monitor demand and supply gap and prices of essential items. She said the growers should be encouraged to sell their products directly at Sahulat bazaars without involvement of a middleman and required facilities should be provided to them as it would help ensure availability of fruits and vegetables at concessionary rates. She asked the officers to keep a check on the prices, demand and supply of food items in the Sahulat bazaars as well as in the open market.
The Special Assistant also inquired people about arrangements, quality and rates of different items and directed the administration to ensure provision of quality items at a cheaper rate. No negligence in the provision of relief to the masses would be tolerated, the SACM emphasized.
Meanwhile, SACM on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the number of corona patients has reached to 143511 in the province as 676 new patients were reported and 18 others died during the last 24 hours.