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LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to take stern action against the sugar mills for not starting crushing from Thursday.

It was also decided to issue notices to 17 sugar mills that have not started boilers so far. The decision was taken in the meeting chaired by Chief Secretary (CS) Punjab Abdullah Khan Sumbal on Thursday at the Civil Secretariat.

The CS said all the sugar mills were bound to start the crushing season from Thursday.

“Action should be taken against the sugar mills that do not follow the orders,” he further directed. The CS said the Punjab government has issued orders to begin the crushing season before November 25.

The Cane Commissioner Punjab told the participants of meeting that it was necessary for the sugar mills to start boilers approximately 72 hours before crushing but 17 sugar mills have yet not started their boilers which means they are unwilling to follow the order of Punjab government.

The CS directed the Cane Commissioner to immediately issue notices to all such mills and take action against them as per law. He directed all the deputy commissioners to ensure the availability of commodities at fixed rates, saying that ranking for the districts would be done on the basis of their performance in the price control measures.

Presiding over the video link meeting of all the deputy commissioners to review the prices and availability of commodities, the CS directed to fully activate the District Consumer Protection Councils (DCPC) in the districts and intensify the crackdown on wheat and flour smuggling.

He said the availability of food items at fixed prices is the primary responsibility of the administrative officers, adding that they must perform their duties diligently to provide relief to people from price-hike.

He directed the industries department to persuade the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturing Association (PVMA) to bring down the prices of ghee. He asked the deputy commissioners to hold regular meetings of the district price control committees and continue monitoring of auctions in the markets to stabilize prices of vegetables.

The secretary Industries told the meeting that there are ample stocks of flour and sugar in the province and a 20-kg bag of flour is available everywhere at a discounted price of Rs 1,295. The secretary Food, special secretary Agriculture and officers concerned attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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