LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that those producing and selling spurious medicines are enemies of humanity and indiscriminate crackdown on them would be continued.

The chief minister expressed these views while presiding over a meeting through video link at Civil Secretariat, on Tuesday which reviewed in detail the ongoing crackdown on production and sale of spurious and substandard medicines.

“Those who are playing with the life of the people deserve no leniency and must be put behind the bars. I will go to any extent against the producers and sellers of spurious medicines,” the CM added.

The chief minister told the meeting that deterrent action would be taken against the owners of factories producing spurious medicines to control this heinous business on permanent basis. He directed the concerned authorities to immediately fill the vacancies of drug inspectors in the province whereas immediate measures should be taken for the recruitment of drug inspectors against the new vacancies and recruitments in this regard through NTS should be considered.

He said that an autonomous drug authority would be set up in Punjab and necessary steps should immediately be taken in this regard. He directed that the process of outsourcing of drug testing labs of Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi should be accelerated.

Shahbaz Sharif directed that indiscriminate action should be taken against everyone involved in the production of spurious medicines as such elements deserve maximum punishment and the government will deal with them with an iron hand.

The chief minister directed that regular inspection of factories producing medicines should be undertaken and implementation of all standards with regard to production of medicines and their supply should be ensured. He issued instructions for implementation of drug inspection monitoring system and said that the scope of digital system started from Lahore should be extended to all districts of the province.

The chief minister lauded the efficiency of the taskforce authorities regarding effective action against spurious drugs and said that those showing good performance will be encouraged while those guilty of negligence or dereliction of duty will be held accountable.

Also, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif reviewed the steps taken for provision of relief to the masses under Ramazan Package at a meeting held through video link at Civil Secretariat, on Tuesday.

The chief minister also issued instructions to the concerned authorities and head of departments for the provision of quality essential items, fruits and vegetables to the masses at reasonable rate in Ramazan Bazaars as well as open market and bazaars.

The chief minister said that due to effective measures adopted by the government, quality essential items were available to the people in Ramazan Bazaars which were being visited by a large number of citizens. He said that masses were benefiting from the historic Ramazan Package of billions of rupees announced by the government.

The chief minister said that there is a need for continuous monitoring of Ramazan Bazaars and provincial ministers, advisors and senior officials should pay regular visits to Ramazan Bazaars. He said that foolproof security arrangements should be made in Ramazan Bazaars. He said that there should not be any complaint of shortage of daily use items in Ramazan Bazaars and necessary measures should be adopted for maintaining abundant supply of necessary commodities.