LAHORE - Punjab government has promulgated an ordinance to check the hoarding of different commodities, making it a non-bailable and punishable offense. 

The gazette notification of “Punjab Prevention of Hoarding Ordinance, 2020” was issued on Wednesday.

Under this ordinance, hoarders can be punished up to three years of imprisonment and 50 per cent amount of confiscated material will be deposited in the national exchequer. The new law has also an incentive for the whistleblowers who will be getting ten per cent of the deposited amount.

It also empowers the concerned officers to check the godowns of any dealer without any warrant from the magistrate.  Similarly, dealers would be bound to deposit their record of production, import and export, staff strength, sales and distribution with the concerned officers under the new arrangement.

In the said ordinance, the government identified and listed 41 essential items whose hoarding has been declared a punishable offense.

Commenting on the new anti-hoarding law, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar stated that the ordinance had been issued for taking stern action against those creating artificial crisis through hoarding of commodities.

He further said that indiscriminate crackdown would be initiated against hoarders as they were enemies of people. “Public interest is most dear to the government and any artificial price-hike will never be allowed”, he warned.