LAHORE - Though without making any specific reference to any person or family, but dropping a clear hint at Sharif family, PPPs Punjab Secretary Finance Aurangzeb Burki on Tuesday came up with an allegation that a prominent political family of Punjab was involved in unchecked export of chicken meat to the tune of hundreds of tones daily, which, in his opinion, had caused unprecedented hike in the commoditys price.
In a press statement issued here, the PPP leader demanded of the federal government to stop this what he called uncontrolled export of chicken to bring down the escalating prices of chicken meat.
Aurangzeb attributed the recent hike in chicken prices to the unrestricted export of chicken meat by that family to the Arab countries, saying that chicken meat was out of reach of the poor who could not afford to buy this commodity at the much higher rate of Rs 240 per kg.
He said the meat must be made available at Rs 80 per kg by halting unrestricted export of chicken.
He further alleged that this family had also forced owners of the ordinary poultry farms to close their business by setting up over 90 state-of-the art chicken sheds which were purchasing chicks at the exorbitant price of Rs 60 unlike other farms that used to buy it at Rs 6 only.
The family has also prepared its own chicken feed (Prem Feed) which is much costlier as compared to the imported feed which they have got banned through court on the allegation that it contained Lard (pig fat), he alleged further.
If this ruling family of Punjab could not provide cheap flour to the people, it should not at least make chicken so dear to make it out of reach of the downtrodden, he observed.
When contacted for Sharif familys version on the allegations raised by PPP leader, Nawaz Sharifs spokesperson Senator Pervaiz Rashid said as far as the allegation of not providing cheap flour to the people was concerned, it was highly likely that Burki was making a reference to Pervaiz Elahi, because it was in his tenure as CM that wheat flour became a rare commodity.
He said media both electronic and print is on record having reported the fact that during the last 10 days of Ramazan, dozens of trucks loaded with wheat flour were seen parked in various localities of the City but with no were buyers in sight.
About the allegation of chicken export by the Sharif family, Pervaiz Rashid said he was not in knowledge of any poultry farms owned by this family.
He said no one could export any commodity without seeking permission of the federal govt.
If the chicken export is going on unchecked as per Burki, then it is responsibility of the concerned federal department to take notice of the matter, he maintained.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 07-Oct-2009 here.