Minister says crackdown on hoarders, profiteers to be intensified

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal Thursday chaired a price control meeting, and announced that an indiscriminate crackdown on hoarders and profiteers would be intensified.

The meeting, held here at Civil Secretariat, reviewed availability of essential commodities in the market and their prices before the arrival of Ramazan. The meeting also looked into various issues relating to the arrangements made for establishment of Ramazan bazaars across the province to facilitate consumers.

The minister said the administrative officers should work actively to prevent profiteering and hoarding, besides ensuring sale of sugar, ghee, flour and other essential commodities at the government fixed rates throughout the province. He warned that sale of food items over and above the fixed prices would be intolerable and strict action would be taken against those who did not display price lists at their shops’ prominent places.

Mian Aslam Iqbal said a Ramazan package of Rs 7 billion was being given to provide substantial relief to people during Ramazan. As many as 313 Ramazan bazaars would be set up across the province, which would be opened on 25th of Sha’ban, where fruit, vegetables, lentils, basin, dates and other essentials items would be available at the rates of year 2018.

In Ramazan bazaars, he added, a bag of 10kg flour would be available for Rs 375, while ghee, chicken and eggs would also be available for Rs 10-15 less price compared with the open markets. He said the quality, supply and prices of edibles would be monitored in Ramazan bazaars with the help of modern technology and implementation of Corona standard operating procedures (SOPs) would also be ensured.

The Punjab chief secretary, attending the meeting, directed the officers concerned that the best arrangements should be made for convenience of consumers in Ramazan bazaars. The availability and prices of essential commodities should be closely monitored, he said.

Secretary Industries and Commerce, DG Industries, Commissioner Lahore Division and officers concerned attended the meeting.

Commissioners from across the province attended the meeting via video-link.