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LAHORE: In order to ensure availability of eatables at officially fixed rates, the Punjab government has decided to establish Sahulat bazaars in all cities and issued instructions to the deputy commissioners to complete necessary arrangements in this regard.

The instructions were issued in a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary Punjab at the Civil Secretariat. The meeting reviewed the prices of essential commodities, especially flour, sugar, poultry, and the establishment of Sahulat bazaars.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Secretary said that the availability of flour, sugar, and other commodities at discounted rates in the Sahulat bazaars would be ensured. He directed the officers to make Sahulat bazaars functional at the Tehsil level as early as possible. He said the prices, demand, and supply of food items in the open market should be closely monitored. He also issued orders for devising a mechanism to control the prices of poultry.

The Chief Secretary asked the officers to provide the required facilities to the farmers for setting up farmer platforms in the Sahulat bazaars. He said that farmers would be able to sell vegetables and fruits directly to consumers on these platforms. He remarked that the establishment of private agricultural markets should be encouraged to control the prices of fruits and vegetables effectively.

The agriculture secretary mentioned that his department had issued 42 licenses to the private sector for the establishment of fruits and vegetable markets. The meeting was briefed that a crackdown on profiteers and hoarders is underway across the province and the authorities arrested 3099 persons, registered 2413 cases, besides imposing fines of Rs98.6 million on violators. The official also recovered thousands of sacks of sugar, wheat, and flour during action against hoarders. The administrative secretaries of agriculture and food, commissioner Lahore, CEO Urban Unit, director of food, and officers concerned attended the meeting whereas Deputy Commissioners participated through video link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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