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LAHORE: In order to ensure availability of essential commodities, especially flour and sugar at the fixed prices in the province, the Punjab government has issued orders to field officers to fully activate 'Sahulat Bazaar' at the Tehsil level and take indiscriminate action the flour mills selling government-quota wheat in market and sugar mills involved in hoarding.

The instructions were issued at an emergent meeting presided over by the Chief Secretary Punjab at the Civil Secretariat.

The Additional Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), administrative secretaries of departments, commissioner Lahore, additional IG Special Branch and police officers attended the meeting while all divisional commissioners, RPOs, deputy commissioners and DPOs participated through video link. The meeting decided to set up a price control cell at the provincial level.

Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Secretary said that in order to control price-hike and provide relief to the people as per the directions of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister Punjab, the administrative officers have to ensure implementation of fixed prices at all costs. No negligence would be tolerated in this regard, he warned.

He directed that 'Sahulat Bazaars' at tehsil level should be fully activated and availability of eatables, including flour and sugar at discounted rates, should be ensured there.

He said that growers should be encouraged to sell their produce directly at the farmers' platforms 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. He asked the officers to keep a strict check on the prices, demand and supply of food items in the Sahulat Bazaars as well as in the open market. The Chief Secretary said that despite giving a subsidy of billions of rupees for the availability of flour at fixed prices, the shortage of the commodity was a question mark on the performance of the administrative officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020