peshawar    -  The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cabinet on Tuesday approved establishment of 16 ‘Sasta Insaf Bazaars’ across the province. In the first phase four such bazars would be established at provincial headquarter and two each at divisional level.  

This would be gradually extended to all districts to ensure affordable supply of food items to the people and will be open 7 days a week. 

The daily necessities including flour, sugar, ghee, rice, pulses, chicken and vegetables will be available at cheaper rates from the general market. The government will provide free shops. This will cost initially Rs100 million approximately. The government would ensure that water, washrooms, security, sanitation, etc. are properly arranged in these markets. These markets are being set up immediately and would be run by management committees to be formed in order to ensure better management of these markets and availability of essential commodities at all times. 

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said provision of daily commodities of life to the people at cheap and inexpensive rates was the prime priority of his government. Reiterating his commitment, the Chief Minister, who presided over the cabinet meeting, directed Planning and Development Department to immediately formulate workable proposals for execution of Chashma Right Bank Lift Canal. He said getting self-sufficiency in food and other agro based commodities would be the focus area of his government and all resources would be put-on ground to ensure food security. 

The Cabinet meeting was attended by members of the Cabinet, Special Advisers and Special Assistants, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and Administrative Secretaries. 

The Chief Minister directed the members of the Cabinet to frequently and regularly visit bazaars and markets to ensure availability of food items at fixed official rates. He further directed that supply of flour at subsidized rates should be ensured up to the level of Village Council.  

Mahmood Khan said that ordinary shopkeepers should not be harassed by spate visits by different departments but the administration should form joint teams for the purpose. The Cabinet was briefed about the price control system in the province and the prices of various food items in the province and it was told that the prices of essential commodities other than tomatoes and chicken had remained stable throughout the province during the last few weeks. 

Raids are being carried out in the province following the reports of IB and Special Branch against the artificial price-hike, hoarding and stockpiling. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has better situation of the availability food and other items of daily life as compared to other provinces and even at the national commodity prices. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa emerged at number-one in the Prime Minister’s Citizen Portal in the placement of price-lists of essential commodities of daily life conspicuously on all shops. The Cabinet appreciated the administration and the Tiger Force for efficient performance to control the prices of essential commodities. 

The meeting was given detailed briefing on the situation of wheat and sugar in the province and was told that the provincial government was purchasing five lac metric tons wheat from PASCO and out of which 2 lac metric tons had reached and PASCO had been asked to arrange another 1 lac metric ton while 160,000 metric tons of wheat was being imported and efforts were being made to store 8-9 million metric tons of wheat in the province by January next year. 

The Cabinet also approved to increase quantity of wheat issued to local flour mills at discounted rates from 3,000 metric tons per day to 4,000 metric tons. The Cabinet was informed that arrangements had been made in the province and online supply of essential commodities had been started in the three merged districts of erstwhile FATA. 

The meeting was informed that the number of farmers markets established in the province had been increased from 65 to 80. Items would be available at 5 to 10 per cent lower prices. 

The KP Cabinet agreed to establishment of primary health care management committees and health care management committees in order to give enhanced financial autonomy to the basic health units, rural health centres and other devolved services in the health sector that would further make the health services more efficient at grassroots level. These committees would be headed and participated by senior doctors, representatives of the district administration, secretary of the concerned Village Council and TMAs along with the members from community. 

Initially, 882 primary health care management committees and 108 health care management committees would be established that would settle the daily and routine matter at local level and would ensure the availability of medicine and would undertake necessary repairs. 

These committees would enjoy financial autonomy to undertake all these spelled out work. The cabinet also approved the names of board of governors for the unofficial members of the Health Foundation and dissolved the board of governors of MTI Bannu for inefficient and ineffective performance. The charge of the dissolved board would rest with Board of Governors of Hayatabad Medical Complex for the time being. The Cabinet directed to finalize names for the new BOG for MTI Bannu at the earliest.  

The Cabinet also amended certain sections of the MTI Appellate Tribunal Rules 2020. It also approved to sign MoU between NADRA and Health Department for the extension of Sehat Insaf Card to hundred percent of the population. The Cabinet also approved the minimum sugarcane rate Rs.200 maund and beat Rs.180 maund respectively for the year 2020-21. The Cabinet also approved the crushing season to start from November 15, 2020.