Crackdown on Profiteers in Punjab; 852 Arrested in July

LAHORE, July 30 (Online Int’l): To ensure the availability of essential commodities at the prices fixed by the government, a crackdown on profiteers is underway in the province and during the current month 852 persons were arrested, and cases were registered against 898, besides imposition of a fine of about Rs 57.5 million on them.

This was stated during a meeting chaired by the Provincial Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal and Chief Secretary Punjab Jawwad Rafique Malik at 9-Aikman Road. The meeting reviewed the prices and the availability of essential commodities, especially flour and sugar, smart lockdown situation, and arrangements in cattle markets in the province. The administrative secretaries of food, agriculture, and industries departments, Commissioner Lahore Division, and CCPO Lahore attended the meeting whereas all the divisional commissioners, RPOs, deputy commissioners, and DPOs participated through video link.

Addressing the meeting, Mian Aslam Iqbal said that providing relief to the common man was the priority of the government and no compromise could be made on this important matter. He said that the prices of commodities are fixed by the administration itself and their implementation has to be ensured by the administrative officers.

The Chief Secretary directed that on the eve of the coming festival of Eid, prices as well as the quality, demand, and supply of tomatoes, onions, ginger, lemons, and other kitchen items be closely monitored. He said that clear instructions have been issued by the federal government to overcome the issue of artificial price-hike, adding that no laxity would be tolerated in this regard. He mentioned that the ‘indiscriminate action’ against profiteers and hoarders would continue throughout the province.

The Chief Secretary asked the deputy commissioners to monitor the process of supply of subsidised government wheat to the flour mills, its grinding, and supply in the market to ensure the availability of flour at fixed prices. He also issued directions regarding taking traders’ organisations into confidence for implementation of the smart lockdown and paying special attention to the arrangements in the cattle markets.

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