LAHORE  - Following the directives of of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, orders have been issued for reducing Rs15 per kg/liter the existing prices of all banaspati ghee and edible oils after record decrease in the transport fares and prices of petroleum products.

A notification has been issued in this regard which will be applicable immediately. Three years imprisonment and a fine of Rs one lakh will be imposed on violators.

This was disclosed by Implementation Committee on the Reduction of Prices of Essential Items Chairman Rana Sanaullah Khan at a press conference held with regard to decrease in prices of ghee at 90-Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam on Wednesday.

Provincial Minister for Food Bilal Yasin, Member Provincial Assembly Zaeem Hussain Qadri and Secretary Industry Dawood Ahmed were also present on the occasion. Rana Sanaullah said that government had taken the profiteers to task. He said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had constituted a committee on permanent basis for riding the people of price-hike.

Rana Sanaullah said that more than 150 dollar per ton has been reduced in the price of palm oil for the last few months in international market due to which the production cost of banaspati ghee and edible oils has decreased at least 18 per cent. He said that the mill owners had not been transferring the benefit of reduction in prices at international level, upon which, government under Section 3 of Eradication of Price Control, Profiteering and Hoarding Act 1977 issued orders of decreasing prices of ghee and edible oil.

Rana Sanaullah appealed to mill owners to supplement the efforts of the government regarding decrease in price of ghee and edible oil keeping in view the interest of the consumers.

He also asked the people to immediately inform concerned DCs, Assistant Commissioner on toll free number 0800-2345 about the shopkeeper on overcharging.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that interest of the people of the province is dearest to him and no one will be allowed to exploit the masses in the form of hoarding and profiteering. He directed authorities concerned to launch a crackdown against hoarders and profiteers and the sale of essential items at the fixed rates be ensured.

He was addressing a meeting of Provincial Price Control Committee through video link at Civil Secretariat, on Wednesday. Issuing instructions to all Commissioners, District Coordination Officers and concerned authorities to take action against the elements involved in hoarding and profiteering, Shahbaz Sharif directed that effective measures be adopted for providing relief to the citizens.

He said that administrative machinery should play an active role for transferring the benefits of decrease in the prices of petroleum products to the citizens and necessary administrative measures should be adopted against hoarders and profiteers.

The chief minister warned that no laxity or negligence would be tolerated in the provision of relief to the common man. He said that indiscriminate action under the law should be taken against hoarders and profiteers while the steps taken for decreasing transport fares should be continued.

He said that he would go to any extent to transfer the benefits of reduction in the prices of petroleum products to the people and no one will be allowed to act arbitrarily. The chief minister also issued instructions for setting up monitoring committees for ensuring provision of essential items to the masses at the fixed rates.

The monitoring committees will implement the plan evolved for the sale of essential commodities at the fixed rates in their respective districts.

Provincial Ministers Bilal Yasin, Dr. Farrukh Javed, Chief Secretary, concerned secretaries, Commissioner Lahore Division and concerned officers participated in the meeting through video link.