LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif paid surprise visits to Ramazan bazaars in Okara and Lahore on Monday to monitor the prices and quality of essential items being provided to the people during the holy month of Ramazan.
He visited Ramazan bazaars without any prior information or protocol and even concerned district administration and office-bearers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were unaware of the chief minister’s visit.
Shahbaz Sharif, who was himself fasting, spent more than four hours in Ramazan bazaars despite extreme heat and suffocation to review the prices of essential items being provided to the masses.
He also talked to consumers and inquired from them about rates and quality of daily-use items. The chief minister went to each stall in Ramazan bazaars and personally checked rates, quality and supply of edibles, fruits and vegetables.
The people expressed their satisfaction over the prices of daily-use items available in Ramazan bazaars. He took strict notice of non-availability of chicken meat in Ramazan Bazaar, Okara, and ordered authorities concerned to immediately address this complaint. Shahbaz Sharif expressed his displeasure over the fact that the price of sugar was not displayed at a stall and directed that the sale price of Rs 45 should prominently be displayed at all of the stalls.
He checked the prices of vegetables, fruits, meat, flour as well as their quality. He took notice of haphazard traffic and encroachments in Mehboob Alam Chowk in Okara and sought a report from the Sahiwal commissioner and regional police officer (RPO). He ordered that the problem of traffic and encroachments should immediately be resolved. He directed administration to ensure proper quality and sale of essential items at fixed rates during Ramazan and warned that no compromise would be made in this regard. Chief Minister Shahbaz said that he would not tolerate any laxity or negligence in providing relief to citizens.
Later, talking to the press, the chief minister said that a comprehensive mechanism had been evolved for provision of essential commodities at cheaper rates in Ramazan bazaars and that the government would not allow overcharging during the holy month. He said that instructions have also been issued to the administration and elected representatives to ensure that quality essential items were made available to the masses at reasonable rates in Ramazan bazaars. He said that it was not possible for him to visit every place personally; therefore, an effective system of information and monitoring of 346 Ramazan bazaars had been evolved and that he would be informed on a daily basis. He said that people would not be left at the mercy of profiteers and that he would personally supervise the rates of daily-use items in Ramazan.
He said that prices of essential commodities decrease on religious festivals all over the world but the situation was totally different here. He said that officers showing laxity should not expect leniency from him. He said that administration would be held accountable for the stoppage of sale of chicken meat in Ramazan bazaar, Okara.
After his visit to Okara, the chief minister paid a surprise visit to Ramazan bazaar in Township in Lahore. He took strict notice of short supply of potato and directed the administration to take necessary measures for increasing the supply of potatoes.
He said that the administration would have to ensure provision of necessary items to citizens at fixed rates. He said that sale of chicken meat at least 20 rupees per kg less than the market rate be ensured at Ramazan bazaars and special attention be paid to the quality and prices of daily-use items.
The chief minister also visited agricultural fair price shop and expressed pleasure over the quality of fruits and vegetables being sold there. He said that fair price shops were helping in ensuring provision of fruits and vegetables to citizens at concessionary rates; therefore, this system should be further improved.
Shahbaz Sharif also listened to the complaints of the people in Ramzan bazaars and issued appropriate orders for their redressal.
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