Pakistan

Punjab Chief Secretary tells officers, “Perform or quit”

Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik said that the performance related to price control would be reviewed regularly every week, adding that, officers with poor performance have no right to remain in the office.

Chief Secretary chaired a meeting at the Civil Secretariat to review prices of essential commodities, the performance of price magistrates and considered various proposals to effectively control prices of vegetables in agriculture markets.

The Punjab government has intensified the crackdown on profiteers and hoarders across the province, arresting 619 persons and registering 712 FIRs during the last week. The authorities also imposed fines of Rs 37.8 million on the violators.

Punjab’s top bureaucrat also issued orders to the deputy commissioners of Lahore, Mianwali, Mandi Bahauddin, and Gujranwala to improve the implementation of the price control measures.

He said that the best officers are posted in Lahore so expectations are also high from them. He warned that whether it is Lahore or any other district, only those officers would be allowed to retain their positions who would perform.

The Chief Secretary said that the system of agricultural markets was being modernized to keep a check on the prices of fruits and vegetables. Asking officers to submit a report after analyzing the data related to price difference with the help of the Mandi app, the Chief Secretary said that the commission agents who create inflation by fixing higher prices in the auction process must be dealt with iron fists.

He said that no one could be allowed to fleece consumers. The Chief Secretary also asked the authorities to prepare proposals for fixing the base price in the auction process in the agricultural markets.

The meeting was briefed that during the last one week, the price magistrates conducted more than 174,000 inspections in the province and found 29,000 violations including overcharging and hoarding. The Additional Chief Secretary, secretaries of relevant departments including Industries, Food, and Agriculture, CEO Urban Unit attended the meeting while all the divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners participated through video link.

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