LAHORE: Expressing displeasure over the exorbitant prices of vegetables in six districts, Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal directed all the deputy commissioners to supervise the auction process in markets. He remarked that the price differential among cities is not an issue of demand and supply but an 'administrative weakness'.

The Chief Secretary gave this direction while presiding over a meeting at the Civil Secretariat. The meeting reviewed the prices, availability, and price control monitoring mechanism of essential commodities.

The Chief Secretary said that fixing exorbitant prices of commodities in the agriculture markets of some districts was 'unjustifiable' and would not be accepted in any case. He expressed displeasure over higher rates of vegetables in Okara, Sialkot, Kasur, Chiniot, Faisalabad, and Khanewal than the nearby districts, besides seeking a report from the divisional commissioners in a week. He said that instead of sitting in their offices, the deputy commissioners must go to the field to review the situation and ensure the administrative measures are yielding positive results.

The Chief Secretary said that the officers would have to work actively to grapple with the artificial price-hike. He mentioned that performance about price control would be reviewed regularly and no laxity and negligence would be tolerated in this regard. He also directed the PITB chairman to devise an e-challan system for imposing fines on profiteers. The administrative secretaries of relevant departments, including industries, agriculture, and food, PITB chairman, Additional IG Special Branch, and officers concerned attended the meeting. The divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners participated through the video link.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal on Sunday took notice of the incident of not administering anti-rabies vaccine to a child injured due to dog bite at Rural Health Centre (RHC) Och Sharif.

The Chief Executive Officer District Health Authority Bahawalpur has suspended Medical Officer RHC Dr Habibullah and set up a three-member committee to probe into the matter.

The committee comprising Dr Khalid Mahmood Arain, Dr Aneela Ali and Dr Muhammad Anas will complete the inquiry in three days. A preliminary report of the incident has also been submitted to the Chief Secretary Punjab. According to the report, the incident of dog bite took place in Basti Sial. The child could not be vaccinated as the medicine store of the centre was closed at night.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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