LAHORE: Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the Punjab government had taken effective steps to ensure provision of quality daily-use items at affordable rates during Ramzan.
Talking to members assembly belonging to various districts, the CM said that over 300 Ramazan Bazaars had been established throughout the province, to ensure availability of inexpensive edible to the citizens. He said fair price shops at Ramazan Bazaars, under the auspices of Agriculture Department, had also been set up, where pulses, vegetables and fruits would be available at less than the market rates.
The chief minister said that the Punjab government was spending a huge amount of four billion rupees to subsidize provision of everyday items to the general public during the holy month.
Shahbaz Sharif called upon industrialists, traders and shopkeepers to cooperate with the government in keeping prices of daily use items at reasonable level. He said that a Central Monitoring Room had been established to oversee provision of daily-use items at subsidized rates and ensuring stability of prices. He said that the provincial ministers had been given the task of ensuring daily-use items to the citizens at Ramazan Bazaars throughout the province.
He also directed the elected representatives to pay regular visits to the Ramazan Bazaars of their local area to ensure provision of edibles at fixed rates. He announced that he himself would also monitor and review availability of quality daily-use items at subsidized rates.
In Ramazan Bazaars, he said, a 10 kg flour bag was available at Rs.230, in open market at Rs240, while 20 kg flour bag was available at Rs.480 in the open market.
The chief minister said that legitimate profit earned through business and trade was the right of everyone however the exploitation of the poor could not be permitted in the name of profit. He said that hoarding and profiteering was an unacceptable act in Islam and warned that strict action would be initiated against such elements. He said price control magistrates and market committees had been fully activated to bring about stabilization in the prices of everyday items, whereas monitoring cells had also been set up at district headquarters to review prices in Ramazan Bazaars.