Flour not available at subsidized rate: SC

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court has expressed dissatisfaction over the reports from federation and provinces with reference to hike in flour prices and directed them to take effective steps to provide basic necessities of life to people.

The court also directed that federation, provincial governments and other institutions should present reports before it within 10 days on the implementation of its orders.

Justice Gulzar Ahmad remarked “jumbo vehicles are being purchased out of public money. The high ups attend international conferences and stay in five star hotels out of hard earned money of the people. What about the common man. Even flour is not available to them at lower rate.”

He further remarked that billion of rupees were being distributed among the people purposelessly but the commodities at lower rate were not available to the masses. He observed that no cooperation was forged among the institutions for provision of basic necessities of life and due to which supply of essential commodities to the common man cannot become possible.

He further observed “references to the reports of international institutions be not given. These reports serve the purpose of only international institutions to achieve their objectives. These have nothing to do with us. We have our own problems. The international institutions go on working out their reports due to their NGOs. People from our ministries should undertake visits of different cities and review the situation.”

He said that the government officers and even governments don’t have any knowledge about the constitution but they continue to remain engaged in debates on TV channels. He remarked that the government would have to take steps for providing essential commodities.

“A separate mechanism will have to be adopted by government on this count. Article 38 of the constitution is being talked of every where now a days. We have to see to what extent it is being implemented here.” He gave these remarks while presiding over a 2-member bench during the hearing of flour prices case here Monday.

Federation and provinces presented reports of their respective ministries and institutions. Additional Advocate General Zahid Qureshi appeared in the court. “Where is advocate general,” the court inquired and remarked it is not an ordinary case. “It is an important case and advocate general should appear in this case. He should be asked to appear on next hearing.”

Razzaq A Mirza while presenting the stance of Punjab government told the court no ban has been imposed on movement of wheat from Punjab to other provinces. Funds are being provided to the people under Benazir Income Support Programme.

Justice Gulzar remarked there should be cooperation between the institutions in this regard. The problems have been created due to lack of cooperation. Ministry of Food Security told the court steps have been taken to provide essential commodities to people. “Goods are provided by utility stores and other institutions to the people. Sustay Bazaar will be set up during the holy month of Ramadan. Government is providing subsidy to the people in this respect.”

The court remarked reports and steps are insufficient. More steps be taken and reports be presented before it within 10 days.

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