LAHORE-The provision of daily-use commodities to people at prices fixed by the government was the

prime responsibility of administrative officers and negligence in this regard would not be tolerated.

These views were expressed by the Provincial Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal while addressing a meeting on Friday held to review the mechanism of pricing of edibles and steps being taken to eradicate locusts in the province.

Minister for Agriculture Malik Noaman Ahmad Langrial, Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik, Senior Member Board of Revenue Babar Hayat Tarar, administrative secretaries of various departments and officers concerned attended the meeting whereas Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners participated through video link.

The meeting reviewed the strategy for fixing prices of daily-use commodities, especially 10 essential food items, and deliberated on a proposal to fix prices of ghee, sugar, flour, pulses, fruits, vegetables, chicken, mutton, and beef etc quarterly.

It was decided that a committee would be set up to prepare recommendations on the mechanism to determine the prices of commodities every quarter.

The Chief Secretary asked the officers to keep a strict check on the prices of eatables even after Ramzan. Price lists should be displayed prominently and shops of violators should be sealed, he directed.

Later, the meeting reviewed the latest situation of locusts in the province and expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken for the eradication of the pest.

The Chief Secretary was informed that timely measures helped protect crops on a vast area from swarms of locusts.

Senior Member Board of Revenue Babar Hayat Tarar briefed the meeting that locust combat operation was underway in the affected areas of the province and so far about 147,000 hectares had been sprayed and surveillance of 75,463 hectares in the affected districts had been completed.

He said that a sufficient quantity of pesticides was available in stocks and it was being provided as per requirement.

He said that 64 vehicle-mounted sprayers, 868 power, and 317 manual spray machines were being used for spraying pesticides while 244 survey, 965 other vehicles, and necessary machinery were also in use.