LAHORE - The Punjab government on Sunday announced Rs5 billion Ramazan Package to ensure abundant supply of quality essential items to the masses at cheaper rates during the holy month.Moreover, the federal government also sanctioned a Rs2 billion subsidy for the Utility Stores, a meagre amount as compared to the resources the central government has at its disposal.The Punjab government would also make coordination with Utility Stores so that the people could fully benefit from the Ramazan Package announced by the federal and Punjab governments. Under the package, flour bags will be available in Ramazan Bazaars and open market at concessionary rate. At least 360 Ramazan Bazaars will be set up in Punjab while all model bazaars like Sahulat Bazaars, Juma and Sunday Bazaars will be converted into Ramazan Bazaars. Moreover, 334 fair price shops will be established at Ramazan Bazaars where articles of daily use will be available at wholesale price. Stalls of Utility Stores will also be established in the bazaars. This was decided at a high level meeting held here to review the Ramazan Package. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over the meeting which was informed that colour of the floor bag to be supplied under the Ramazan Package. It was further told that 13 new model bazaars being constructed will be made functional before Ramazan and converted into Ramazan Bazaars. Addressing the meeting, the CM said that effective monitoring of Ramazan Bazaars will be ensured for easy availability of quality essential items at cheaper rates, and provincial ministers, elected representatives, secretaries, Commissioners and District Coordination Officers will perform duties in this regard. He said that provincial ministers, elected representatives and administrate machinery will pay regular visits to the bazaars for the implementation of Ramazan Package which is aimed at provision of maximum relief to the masses. He said that nine provincial ministers and assembly members of nine divisions will perform their responsibilities in this regard on permanent basis. Shahbaz said that provincial cabinet committee could use his aircraft and helicopter for visiting the far-flung areas. He said that no compromise would be made over the quality of vegetables, fruits and essential items in Ramazan Bazaars, and political and administrative machinery would play an active role for ensuring supply of quality items of daily use in abundance, so that the people could fully benefit from the Ramazan Package. He further said that chicken and eggs will be available in the Ramazan Bazaars at Rs15 less than the market price. Shahbaz directed that 2,000 Madni Dastarkhwan be set up across the province for providing the people free Sehri and Iftari. He said that the Punjab government would extend all-out cooperation in this regard. He also directed that a survey of cold storages be conducted to collect data. He also issued instructions for formulating Cold Storage Act. The CM directed that coordination with Utility Stores be maintained so that the people could fully benefit from the Ramazan Package. He also directed Minister for Labour and Secretary Labour to ensure correct weight and measures system in the Ramazan Bazaars, and warned that a stern action would be taken in case of any complaint in this regard. Shahbaz directed the Punjab Information Technology Board to formulate a digital system on the pattern of dengue programme for the monitoring of Ramazan Bazaars while evolving of an integrated mechanism for the monitoring through CCTV cameras should also be considered. Provincial Ministers Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Dr Farrukh Javed, Bilal Yasin, Muhammad Shafiq, Member National Assembly Afzal Khokhar, Chief Secretary, Inspector General Police and others attended the meeting.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 19-May-2014 here.