ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday stressed on taking all administrative measures to ensure availability of daily commodities, besides controlling their prices.
He also ordered further strict action against elements involved in hoarding.
The prime minister was chairing a meeting to review availability and prices of essential commodities, specially wheat and sugar, PM office media wing said in a press release.
The provincial administrations have been directed to ensure legal action against real owners of mills and godowns involved in hoarding.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur, PM's advisors Abdul Razak Dawood, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Dr Ishrat Hussain and Mirza Shahzad Akbar, PM's special assistants Dr Shahbaz Gil, Muhammad Usman Dar and Dr Waqar Masood, State Bank Governor Reza Baqir, Utility Stores Corporation Managing Director and senior officials. Chief secretaries attended the meeting through video link.
The meeting was apprised that the Government of Punjab had increased release of wheat from 16,000 tonnes to 20,000 tonnes on a daily basis, which would be further increased to 25,000 tons in a couple of days.
The Sindh chief secretary informed the meeting that the provincial government would start formal release of wheat within next a few days. About 85,000 tonnes of wheat was procured for the period from October 16 to October 31 for which challans were being deposited.
The Punjab chief secretary said flour mills were made to immediately release flour without storing it for long periods.
The meeting was further apprised that a full-scale crackdown against hoarders was continuing under the prime minister's direction and it would be further accelerated.
It was told that proposals over fixation of wheat support price had been received from Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federal Government. The Sindh government was urged to give suggestions in this regard within next couple of days so that the support price for wheat could be announced.
The prime minister directed for ensuring sufficient supply of wheat flour and sugar at utility stores and in this regard, the Punjab chief secretary assured supply of wheat flour to the utility stores considering its demand.
The meeting was further apprised of the progress over arrival of imported wheat and sugar. A detailed briefing was also given over various administrative steps aimed at controlling prices and elimination of hoarding.
In the drive against hoarding, complete help is being sought from Rangers, Customs, Police and Special Branch.
The Punjab chief secretary apprised that on the previous day, 475 tonnes of hoarded sugar and 30,000 tonnes ghee were recovered.
He further told the meeting that for ensuring availability of daily use items at cheap rates, so far 196 'Sahulat bazaars' had been set up and their number would be increased to 350. Besides 92 Kissan markets had also been established, which were being regularly monitored.
In 36 districts of Punjab, a minister and a secretary have been given the responsibility to monitor prices at these bazaars and markets. The district administrations were also made to swing into full action in this regard while performance of the district administration officers was also being ascertained on this basis.
The KP chief secretary also apprised the meeting of the steps taken to ensure availability and prices of wheat and sugar, and the administrative measures.
PM's Special Assistant for Youth Affairs Usman Dar presented a report of the Tiger Force over availability of commodities of daily life and their prices. The prime minister also directed for regular update on the import of wheat and sugar, and performance of the 'Sahulat bazaars'.