KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Food Nisar Ahmed Khuhro Monday said that the provincial government had formulated the Sindh Food Authority after the promulgation of law from the provincial assembly and would be aimed at ensuring provision of better food supplies to the citizens.

He said that a board of governors of the authority is also being established which would work in the entire province along with the appointment of new director general.

The minister for food will be the chairperson of the authority along with secretary food as its convener and secretary health as the vice chairman, he said adding that it would also include secretaries of culture, agriculture, social welfare, local government and public health engineering, three members of the provincial assembly, a representative of chamber and commerce and deputy commissioners of the province as its members.

He said that initially the authority would work in Karachi and its domain would be spread phase wise to other districts of the province.

He said that checking of food items will be carried at the hotels, marts, departmental stores, food industries, bakeries, dairy shops, meat suppliers, mineral water companies and other food outlets and surprise raids would be carried out to collect food samples. “These samples will be sent to the laboratory and after being declared hazardous for the health, action would be taken against the concerned food outlet and could be fined or imprisoned for six months or both,” he said. 

He said that a check list would be issued and every food industry would have to take license. “We have made a list of 523 food items including, milk, meat, vegetables, water and other items and will not allow their substandard quality sale,” he said.

Speaking regarding the rates of wheat, he said that they have estimated 1.4 million tones of wheat production this year and had set a rate of Rs 1300 per maund. “The purchase of wheat will began from April 1 and 500 sales centres are established,” he said adding that the wheat production in Sindh is above 5 million tones but the food department would purchase only 1.4 million tones of it.

Meanwhile, Sindh Dost Ittehad leader Zafar Jahandir and Asif Shah of Naushero Feroz announced to join PPP on the occasion. The minister said that he welcome the new entrants and those who are joining PPP are doing it without keeping in view any interests.

He said that PPP would welcome anyone to join its ranks except the dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf as our doors are closed for dictators.