LAHORE - Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik has directed the officers concerned to ensure reduction in rates of edibles and daily-use items for passing the benefit of cut in prices of petrol, oil, lubricants (POL) to masses.

He issued these directions during a meeting, presided over by Provincial Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja to review impact of decrease in oil prices on rates of eatables, action against profiteering and hoarding, coronavirus situation, wheat procurement campaign and steps to combat locust in the province. The CS said that stern action should be taken against profiteers and hoarders.

The meeting was briefed that during the last two week, 1.322 persons were arrested, 1,226 cases were registered and Rs 60.627 million fine was imposed over overcharging. Similarly, 412 persons were booked for hoarding. The chief secretary said that emergent measures would have to be taken to control locust attacks, like coronavirus.

Recommendation of the IG Punjab regarding arrangements for Youm-e-Ali (RA) would be presented before the cabinet committee for approval, he added.

The meeting was briefed that process of coronavirus testing of government officials, HIV patients, pregnant women and jail inmates had been started.  IGP Punjab Shoaib Dastgir said that smart testing of police force for coronavirus was under way.

Additional chief secretary home, secretaries of different departments, additional IG Special Branch, CCPO Lahore and officers concerned attended the meeting, whereas senior member Board of Revenue, IG Punjab, divisional commissioners and regional police officers joined through video link.