BAHAWALPUR-The Punjab government, under the directions of Chief Minister, has established 309 Sasta Ramazan Bazaars across the province that are providing high quality edibles on subsidised rates.

Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry expressed these remarks while talking to customers at Sasta Ramazan Bazaar established in Bazaar Melay Wali Gali here on Tuesday. The minister was accompanied by Bahawalpur Deputy Commissioner Shozeb Saeed.

The minister inspected various stalls and checked the quality of vegetables, fruits, kitchen items, meat, poultry, and soft drinks. The deputy commissioner told him that Agriculture Department had established fair price shops where 90 edibles items including rice, powder grain, dates, vegetables, and fruits were sold at subsidised rates. On the occasion, the minister enquired from customers about the facilities being provided to them at Ramazan Bazaars. He said that the government was utilising all available resources to provide subsidy on items being sold at Ramazan Bazaars. He added that Special Task Forces and Price Magistrates were monitoring markets to ensure uninterrupted supply of quality food items.

He said that Price Control Magistrates in Bahawalpur division had been directed to ensure strict implementation and monitoring of both Price Control Act and Pure Food Ordinance during this holy month of Ramazan.

On the other hand, people of Bahawalpur are not satisfied with these Sasta Ramazan Bazaars and utility stores. They are of the view that only five items are available out of 19 subsidised items at the utility stores.

A household lady named Shazia Kahan told The Nation that a middle-class person could not survive in the prevalent economic situation. She said that everything was out of control of the government, adding that there was no check and balance in the market, and everyone had set its own prices for different items. She maintained that one thing was being sold on different prices at different shops. She said that the government had fixed the rate of lemon at Rs160 per kg, but it was being sold at Rs400 per kg.

Kashif Ansari, a resident of Bahawalpur, said that all items sold at Sasta Ramazan Bazaars are substandard. Amin said that there was no control of government on the prices of essential commodities in local market, adding everyone had its own prices and profiteering mafia was fleecing customers.

Syed Imran Ali Rizvi said that the government had failed to control the prices and providing relief to the common man. “All essential items are out of reach of the common man,” he said. “Tall claims of government regarding subsidy of billions of rupees on daily use items are found in official documents only,” he added.