LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif reviewed arrangements for providing cheaper and quality edible items to the masses in Ramzan bazaars, which will be set up throughout the province under Ramzan Package through video conference from London on Monday.
Addressing the video conference, the chief minister said that 318 Ramzan bazaars have been set up for provision of quality items at cheaper rates to the people during the holy month, while 25 model bazaars will also operate as Ramzan bazaars where items of daily use will be available to the consumers at concessionary rates.
He said that like the previous years, Punjab government has given a historic Ramazan Package of billions of rupees this year too, and added that all possible measures will be taken to ensure that every penny of this package should reaches the people. He said that agriculture fair price shops have also been set up and arrangements have been completed to establish more than two thousand Madni Dasterkhawan.
He said that flour, sugar, ghee, pulses, fruits, vegetables, chicken, eggs and other items are being provided in Ramzan bazaars and agriculture fair price shops at cheaper rates than open market. He said that provision of quality edible items at cheaper rates to the masses will be ensured at all costs and that provincial ministers, elected representatives, administration and concerned departments will have to perform their duties efficiently.
The chief minister said that hoarding and profiteering will not be tolerated at any cost and strict legal action will be initiated against those looting the people. He said that Punjab government has delegated special powers to price control magistrates for taking action against hoarders and profiteers.
He said that a special dashboard has also been developed with the cooperation of Punjab Information Technology Board for the monitoring of Ramzan bazaars while control rooms are also fully operational. He said that stalls of utility stores have been set up in Ramzan bazaars for the benefit of citizens.
The chief minister said that the shortage of essential items will not be tolerated during Ramzan, and the concerned departments and institutions should take advance measures in case of possible shortage of any item while demand and supply of commodities in market should be closely monitored.
He said that Ramzan provides an opportunity to earn the blessings of Allah and traders and shopkeepers should perform their religious responsibility by supplying quality essential items to the masses at the fixed rates. The chief minister said that all commissioners and district coordination officers will be duty bound to ensure availability of essential commodities in their respective areas and will personally supervise the auctioning process.
He said that provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants and secretaries have also been assigned duties to monitor prices and quality of consumer items in various districts. He said that the provincial cabinet committee on price control will monitor prices of daily use items regularly and submit a daily report.
The chief minister directed that there should not be shortage in the supply of consumer items anywhere in the province and availability of all essential items in abundance should be ensured. He said that further increase in subsidy on gram pulse will be considered and necessary measures in this regard should immediately be taken.
Sharif said that arrangements have been made for electronic display of prices of food items in Ramzan Bazaars so the citizens know the price of each and every item. The chief minister further directed that provision of necessary facilities to the fasting people in Ramzan Bazaars should be ensured so that they do not face any inconvenience.
He said that proper security and sanitation arrangements should also be made in Ramzan bazaars and that due attention should b paid to security arrangements during the Taraveeh prayers. –Business Recorder