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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Artificial Price Hike: CM Buzdar Orders Strict Action to Curb illegal Prices

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has taken strict notice of the artificial price hike, directing all relevant authorities to take effective measures in curbing down the increase in food prices, and regularly monitor the prices.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, on Tuesday, raised concerns over what he described as an “artificial price hike” particularly those of vegetables. He ordered the price control team to undertake sound measures to bring under control the price hike and normalize the costs of food items.

Chief Minister Buzdar said that a price control authority would be erected on the foundation of the Punjab Food Authority (PFA), and the necessary measures to curb the price hike must be finalized without delay.

Punjab Govt to Curb Price Hike

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had directed the relevant authorities to establish effective measures to curb the price hike, while the district administration has been tasked with the responsibility to strictly monitor the rates of food items and other commodities.

CM Buzdar said that price control magistrates must be proactive in carrying out their responsibilities, and all shops must display rate lists where all customers can easily see them. He said that the Punjab government has launched a policy of zero-tolerance towards artificial price hikes, and will go to every extent to effectively implement measures to control prices. He said if there is any complaint about price hikes in the district, the relevant deputy commissioner will be held responsible.

The CM said that agriculture fair price shops will be established in model bazaars to provide vegetables at official prices. The Punjab government has decided to expand the dynamics of the model bazaars to the district level, and the Chief Minister has directed the authorities to submit a comprehensive plan of this expansion.

Read more: 17 Rs Kilo Tomato: What Pakistan are You Living in Abdul Hafeez Sheikh?

Farmers have been allowed to directly sell their produce in 32 model bazaars, and the Chief Minister has pledged to provide them free of cost stalls to facilitate commerce. He has ordered the authorities to ensure that the rights of the farmers and consumers are well protected through effective mechanisms.

Buzdar ordered the continuation of the robust clampdown on all those responsible for the artificial price hike and directed the need to take action against those who hoard commodities. He said that the administration must conduct its activities in the field and regularly monitor prices as they cannot provide relief to the people while sitting in their offices.

He said that the price control magistrate must examine the prices of essential commodities and food items every day to ensure price stability. He stressed that the artificial increase in prices cannot be tolerated, and the price control committees must perform their jobs with due diligence.

Cottage Industry Loans

The Punjab government has also decided to initiate a soft loan program to facilitate the growth of the cottage industry. This decision was reached during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at the CM Office.

Presiding over the meeting, the Chief Minister said that the soft loans initiative will aid the government in facilitating the industrial sector, particularly the industries that have been crippled by the scarcity of resources. The attendees were also directed that Rs300 million have been allocated to the soft loans program for the cottage industry.

Read more: Hoarding leads to price hike in Ramzan: 9,000kg lemons seized

Under this scheme, a loan worth Rs300m will be provided with a returning period of three years and three months. Small and medium-sized enterprises will soon benefit from a loan scheme worth Rs6bn, and loans worth Rs3m with a grace period of six months.