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LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet in its maiden meeting on Wednesday with Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz in the chair expressed firm resolve to provide ease in the lives of the people with focus on checking inflation and maintaining law and order situation in the province.

Provincial Minister Attaullah Tarar accompanied by senior minister Hasan Murtaza, provincial ministers Sardar Owais Khan Leghari, Ali Haider Gillani and Uzma Kardar told media persons after the Cabinet meeting that the provincial government would announce subsidy on sugar and ghee and the CM Hamza Shehbaz would formally announce it in a few days.

He said the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association would also share the subsidy to be given by provincial government on ghee and oil. He added that price control committees have been activated across the province. The Punjab government had decided to tighten the noose around criminals and it has also been decided to launch crackdown on those involved in murder, robbery, rape, snatching and other crimes, he added.

Answering a question, he said that Rs 16 billion subsidy is given per month on flour and 10kg flour bag is available across the province at Rs 490. He said the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) had been requested to bring down sugar price; otherwise the government would take action.

Tarar maintained that the Punjab had procured 5 million tonnes of wheat for which the Cabinet acknowledged the efforts of Secretary Food Punjab. He revealed that the KPK government, which failed to achieve wheat procurement target of 136,000 tonnes, had requested the Punjab government for meeting its food requirement. “We would ink MoU with KPK government and meet their wheat requirements,” he said.

Senior Punjab Minister Hasan Murtaza said they would not indulge in ‘blame game and politics of accusations’ and would try our best to deliver to the masses. He said the PPP had always worked for the betterment of the people and would extend all out help to them. “We would overcome inflation to provide ease in the lives of the people,” he said.

To a query, he said those who announced to hold ‘Save Gogi March’ have no public support.

Attaullah Tarar asked the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to refrain from playing foul play. “Imran Khan is facing “arrest phobia” and is afraid of going to jail,” he said. He alleged the PTI was ruthlessly using the resources of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government, which was encouraging its police to use it against the federation.

He made it clear that protection of life and property of the people was government’s responsibility. Answering a question, he said the law would take its course against those who damaged government property.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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