The Punjab government has decided to set up Sahulat bazaars in all cities and the Punjab Chief Secretary has issued instructions to the deputy commissioners for completion of necessary arrangements in this regard.
The initiative has been taken on the directions of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure availability of eatables at officially fixed rates amid the complaints of inflated prices in fruits and vegetables markets.
Chief Secretary Punjab chairing a meeting at the Civil Secretariat reviewed the prices of essential commodities, especially flour, sugar, poultry, and the establishment of Sahulat bazaars.
Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik said that the availability of flour, sugar, and other commodities at subsidized rates in the Sahulat bazaars should be ensured and directed officials to make operational Sahulat bazaars at the tehsil level as earliest.
Province top bureaucrat directed to monitor commodities prices, demand, and supply of food items in the open market.
Additionally, he also issued orders for devising a mechanism to control the prices of poultry.
The Chief Secretary instructed the officers to provide the required facilities to the farmers for setting up farmer platforms in the Sahulat bazaars so that farmers could be able to sell vegetables and fruits directly to consumers on these platforms. He also remarked that the establishment of private agricultural markets should be encouraged to control the prices of fruits and vegetables effectively.
The Agriculture Secretary apprised the government that his department had issued 42 licenses to the private sector for the establishment of fruits and vegetable markets.
The meeting was briefed that a crackdown on profiteers and hoarders is underway across the province and the authorities arrested 3099 persons, registered 2413 cases, besides imposing fines of Rs98.6 million on violators.
The official also recovered thousands of sacks of sugar, wheat, and flour during action against hoarders. The administrative secretaries of agriculture and food, commissioner Lahore, CEO Urban Unit, director of food, and officers concerned attended the meeting whereas deputy commissioners participated through video link.