LAHORE - Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has given final approval to Rs five billion Ramazan Package for the provision of flour and other essential items to the masses at subsidised rates throughout the holy month of Ramazan. Chief Minister approved the Ramzan Package while presiding over a meeting on Thursday. The chief minister said 346 Ramazan Bazaars would be set up throughout the province. He said 10-kg flour bag would be available in Ramazan Bazaars for Rs310 while it would be sold in the open market at Rs330. Similarly, 20-kg flour bag will be available at Rs660 in the open market. Shahbaz said 346 agriculture fair price shops would also be established in Ramazan Bazaars where fruit and vegetables would be available at cheaper rates. He said sugar, ghee, eggs, and chicken meat would be provided at concessionary rates while arrangements have also been made for setting up 2000 Madni Dastarkhawan in the province. “The Punjab government is giving a subsidy of Rs five billion for Ramazan Package and it should be ensured that the common man should directly benefit from it,” the CM added. He directed that provision of essential items at concessionary rates should be ensured to the citizens while no compromise should be made on the quality and availability of essential commodities. Shahbaz said price lists should be displayed prominently in Ramazan Bazaars while the best arrangements should be made for cleanliness and parking as well. He said due attention should also be paid to the checking of weight and measures. He said special stalls of utility stores would also be established in Ramazan Bazaars. He said no fee would be charged from the stall owners of Model Bazaars during Ramazan. The chief minister directed the provincial ministers and secretaries to visit Ramazan Bazaars and monitor prices and quality of essential commodities and submit a report on daily basis. He said elected representatives and administration implementing Ramazan Package in an effective manner will be fully encouraged. Shahbaz expressed displeasure over increase in prices of some vegetables and fruits and issued instructions to the concerned departments and institutions to take effective steps for withdrawal of this increase in the prices of daily use items before Ramazan. The chief minister said he wants results and no excuse will be accepted. He also directed that tough decisions should be taken to ensure smooth supply of essential items to the citizens at reasonable rates and indiscriminate action should be taken against the elements involved in hoarding and profiteering. Shahbaz said the elements exploiting the common man should be put behind the bars. He further directed Cabinet Committee on Price Control to adopt strict measures to withdraw increase in the prices of some articles of daily use. Chief Minister was informed during a briefing on Ramazan Package that the colour of 10-kg flour bag to be sold in Ramazan Bazaars will be green while 10-kg and 20-kg flour bags to be supplied in the open market will be of orange colour. The chief minister said a digital monitoring system had also been evolved for addressing the complaints of citizens pertaining to Ramazan Bazaars. People can also lodge their complaints at toll free number 0800-02345, he added.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 27-Jun-2014 here.