LAHORE     -      The Punjab government has decided to set up farmer markets at tehsil level to start home delivery system in five big cities of the province. The initiative would help government ensure availability of different commodities at fixed prices in the province.

Initially, the home delivery system would be launched in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and Multan as a pilot project. Punjab Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar announced this while presiding over a meeting at the Civil Secretariat on Friday. Additional Chief Secretary, administrative secretaries of different departments including agriculture and industries, and Chairman PITB were also present in the meeting besides others.

The chief secretary said that Qeemat Punjab App had been developed to monitor prices and effectively address complaints of consumers, adding that facility of online purchase of commodities at fixed rates would now also be provided through this app. He asked the officers to enhance awareness among people to fully benefit from Qeemat Punjab App.

The Chief Secretary said that from next week farmer markets would start working in 30 fruit and vegetable markets in different districts where farmers would directly sell vegetables, fruits, and similar commodities without involvement of a middle man. Later, two such farmer markets would be established at Tehsil level in every district.  Khokhar said profiteering would not be tolerated in any case. “It is top priority of the government to provide relief to the common man and no compromise can be made on this important matter,” he said and warned that stern action would be taken against profiteers, hoarders, and those creating artificial price hike.

The chief secretary asked the officers to keep a strict check on wholesalers rather than shopkeepers because it would help stabilize prices. He said that the sale of eatables especially wheat flour, sugar, ghee and Roti, would be ensured at the prices fixed by the government and for this purpose price magistrates and market committees should be made more active.

He directed the administrative officers to oversee the auction process in fruit and vegetable markets in districts besides keeping a check on demand and supply of the commodities, which is a key factor in controlling prices.