LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Tuesday presided over a meeting of the provincial taskforce on price control at his office.

The chief minister expressed his indignation over officials’ failure to overcome price hike and said that rates of essential items should be decreased. He ordered action against the elements involved in price hike and made it clear that lip-service will not work anymore. “Giving relief to the masses is our joint responsibility,” he said. He said that every step should be taken to stabilize the rates of vegetables. He said that price hike is affecting ordinary people and steps should be taken to give them relief. He said that implementation of the price control mechanism should be ensured.

 “Everything is possible if one’s intention is good. Why hasn’t price hike been checked?” he asked. The chief minister announced that he will personally check rates of different commodities. He told officials to go in the field and monitor the auction process at markets to control prices. He asked commissioners about rates of different items through the video link. He expressed his displeasure with officials’ failure to control price hike and directed them to take immediate steps in the right direction.

Provincial ministers Mian Aslam Iqbal and Samiullah Chaudhry, administrative secretaries and others attended the meeting. Commissioners and DCs participated through the video link.

Earlier, a delegation led by Lord Mayor of Manchester City Abid Latif Chohan called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at his office and discussed matters of mutual interest.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that Pakistan-UK relations span over decades and Pakistan gives importance to these relations. A large number of Pakistanis are living in the UK and playing their role in improving bilateral relations. He said the Overseas Pakistanis Commission, Punjab is proactively working to solve problems of expatriate Pakistanis.

Buzdar maintained that expansion of relations between Punjab and the UK is need of the hour, adding that a conducive environment has been provided to investors in Punjab. He said that results have been achieved in healthcare, education and skill development sectors in collaboration with the DFID and Punjab values this cooperation. “The government believes in taking practical measures to provide relief to people,” he said.

He said that investment in human development is the best investment for bright future of the country.

He said that culture of transparency has been promoted in the province.

Abid Latif Chohan said that bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK are very good and joint efforts will be made to boost investment in Punjab. Councillors Lutf Ur Rehman and Basit Sheikh, Pakistan Community Centre Manchester Chairman Haroon Afzal Khatana, Rana Abdul Sattar, Abdul Qayyum, Ataul Mustafa Chohan, Ch Anwar Yaqoob, Qazi Mubeen and others were part of the delegation.

Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat, PBIT Chairman Sardar Tanvir Ilyas, OPC Punjab VC Ch. Waseem Akhtar and others were also present on this occasion.