Crackdown ordered on hoarders and profiteers

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered a crackdown against hoarders and profiteers and said that immediate steps be taken to ensure supply of hoarded items from godowns to markets. He said that the common man would not be left at the mercy of hoarders and profiteers and that no one would be allowed to exploit citizens.
According to a handout, the chief minister expressed these views while addressing a meeting of the Provincial Price control Committee through video conferencing on Thursday to review prices of fruits, vegetables and essential commodities. 
The chief minister said that the Punjab government had announced the biggest Ramazan Package in the history of the province and that a subsidy of Rs 5 billion had been given for ensuring provision of flour at subsidised rate to the masses. 
Chief Minister Shahbaz directed officials concerned to take action against elements involved in hoarding and profiteering without any discrimination. He directed that supply of essential items to Ramazan bazaars as well as to open markets be improved further. Besides, he said, due attention should be paid to quality of fruits and vegetables. 
He said that immediate measures should be taken to stabilise prices of daily-use items. He said that easy availability of potato, tomato and other items should be ensured in Ramazan bazaars. He said that increase in prices of essential commodities in open markets also would not be tolerated. 
He directed departments concerned to ensure sale of daily-use items at fixed rates in the markets. He directed district coordination officers and district police officers to personally supervise auction process in vegetable markets and said that best security arrangements should be made in Ramazan bazaars and that consumers should be fully facilitated. 
He said that the committee should take decisions in the interest of masses for providing relief to the common man. He directed evolving such a mechanism through which not only the prices could be stabilised but the supply could also be improved.
He urged elected representatives and government officials present in the meeting to earn the blessings of Almighty Allah by working round the clock in order to provide relief to the masses during the holy month of Ramazan.
Food Minister Bilal Yasin, chief secretary, MPA Waheed Gull, additional chief secretary, inspector general of police, secretaries and senior officials attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz has said that use of space technology was of utmost importance for socio-economic development of the country. 
According to another handout, the chief minister expressed these views while addressing a briefing given to him during his visit to SUPARCO Research and Development Centre on Thursday. 
He said that satellite remote sensing and GIS applications could help improve various sectors of life. He said that SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission) had made tremendous progress in satellite engineering and space technology applications during the last few years and that its work was highly beneficial and commendable. He said that the Punjab government was fully benefiting from modern technology in different sectors and cooperation with SUPARCO would be further promoted. The chief minister although SUPARCO and the Punjab Information Technology Board were already cooperating in different projects, there was a need to extend the scope of this cooperation to other areas as well. The chief minister also visited integrated assembled hall and witnessed the use of space technology. 
Provincial ministers Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Colonel (r) Shuja Khanzada, chief secretary, inspector general of police and home secretary were also present. 

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