LAHORE   -   On the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Punjab government has made fully functional 223 Sahulat Bazaars across the province to ensure availability of essential commodities, especially flour and sugar at discounted rates.

This was informed at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Punjab to review price control measures. Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Administrative Secretaries of Food and Industries Department, Chairman PITB and Commissioner Lahore attended the meeting whereas all other Divisional Commissioners, RPOs, Deputy Commissioners and DPOs participated through video conferencing.  Chief Secretary told the participants that the establishment of Sahulat Bazaars aimed at providing relief to the common man as well as to normalize prices in the open market.

As many as 396 Sahulat Bazaars would be set up throughout the province, he maintained.

He directed Deputy Commissioners to personally supervise auction at fruits and vegetable markets, besides keeping an eye on the entire supply chain to curb hoarding.  Asking the officers to deal hoarders with an iron hand, he said that those fleecing consumers deserve no leniency.

He said that for the permanent solution to the problem of price-hike, a complete system of supply chain management would have to be devised and for this, the agriculture and related departments would have to work for year-round forecasting and an increase in production.

The Prime Minister has also issued clear directions in this regard, he added.

He directed that monitoring and reporting in the process of price control be further improved and special attention be paid to increase in number of inspections.

He also sought a detailed report from the Food Secretary on the monitoring of flour mills.