LAHORE – The utility stores across the country were providing relief to the masses through the Ramazan Package, while the customers were being baton-charged at the Ramzan Bazaars in Punjab, Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi claimed on Sunday.

Pervaiz, who is also a senior PML-Q leader, was talking to the media after attending an informal meeting with his party’s parliamentarians at the State Guest House. He maintained that more people were benefitting from the Ramzan Package at the utility stores this year as compared with the last year.

The deputy prime minister claimed that the people complaining about the high prices of daily-use items in the Ramzan Bazaars were being baton-charged instead of being provided relief.  Pervaiz said a cell had been established, under Advisor to the Prime Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja, to monitor the working of utility stores with a view to addressing the grievances of the people.

He added that ministers, parliamentarians and party leaders had been asked to visit the utility stores in their areas and monitor their working to ensure the provision of better services to the people. “I would also pay surprise visits to utility stores myself,” the deputy prime minister said.

Pervaiz announced that utility stores employees would be given one month bonus on successful execution of the Ramzan package. He claimed that during his meeting with the owners of flour mills, he made it clear to them that any mill supplying substandard flour would be blacklisted forever. “I have directed the authorities concerned to strictly follow the decision to keep utility stores open on holidays and increase the timing for the customers.”

Pervaiz informed that mobile units were also functioning in areas – including Mardan, Bannu, Balochistan and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – where utility stores had not been set up.