LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered a crackdown on profiteers and hoarders, says a handout.

Ordering ‘indiscriminate’ action against profiteers and hoarders, the chief minister in his second consecutive term pledged to provide utility items at ‘affordable’ prices.

The handout added that the chief executive of most populace province of the poor country was addressing a meeting of Provincial Price Control Committee through video conference on Thursday.

“Immediate measures be adopted for taking the hoarded items out from godowns. The masses won’t be left at the mercy of hoarders and profiteers and no one will be allowed to fleece people,” Shahbaz said.

Counting his feats, the chief minister said the Punjab government announced the ‘biggest’ Ramazan Package in the history of the province and Rs5 billion subsidy has been given on flour.

During his surprise visit to Okara Ramazan bazaars a couple of days ago, Shahbaz passed orders to ensure supply of essential edibles like chicken meat but the directives fell on deaf ears.

“Ghee, pulses, sugar, vegetables, chicken meat, fruits and other items are also being given to citizens at concessionary rates with the cooperation of concerned associations, he said and directed action should be taken without any discrimination against the elements involved in hoarding and profiteering.

He also directed supply of essential items to Ramazan bazaars as well as open markets be further improved besides due attention should be paid to the quality of fruits and vegetables.

The chief minister said that immediate measures should be adopted 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 increase in prices of essential commodities in open markets will not be tolerated. Shahbaz directed administration and concerned departments to ensure sale of daily use items at fixed rates in the open markets. He directed DCOs and DPOs to personally supervise auction process in vegetable markets. He said that best security arrangements should be made in Ramazan bazaars and consumers should be fully facilitated.