LAHORE           -           Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal on Thursday said that Anti-Hoarding Ordinance had been promulgated in Punjab under which crackdown against hoarders had been launched. Aslam Iqbal expressed these views while addressing the press conference at DGPR Office.

He informed that previously an act with regard to hoarding was already in place, however six additional clauses had been incorporated in the new ordinance, adding that under Anti-Hoarding Ordinance, punishment for hoarding was three years and the offence would be non-bailable.

He apprised that deputy commissioners of all the districts would be empowered to conduct raids relating to hoarding at any place and 50 percent amount of confiscated items would be deposited in the national exchequer. The minister intimated that special magistrates would be bound to give decision in thirty days and the said decision could be challenged in the court of session judge within 30 days.

He also intimated that in the light of the Ordinance, dealer would be bound to give information regarding production of items, imports, exports, purchase, stock and other related details. He stated that Rs 1 million fine would be imposed on the dealer found involved in giving false information. He further emphasized that the nation was going through difficult circumstances and warned that if anyone tried to indulge into hoarding then he would be strictly dealt with.

He asserted that Industries and Trade department along with district administration had been made fully proactive and vigilant. Aslam Iqbal further informed that new Ordinance would be enforced on 41 items comprising surgical gloves, face masks, sanitizers, N95 masks and other essential items had also been included. The minister said that less risk-prone industry had been opened and decision regarding opening up business activities in Ramazan-ul-Mubarak would be made in coming one or two days.

vHe emphasized that the PTI government had waived off more than Rs. 18 billion taxes for the facilitation of traders and business community during current year and would further provide all possible facilities to them.