ISLAMABAD, Dec 5 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed for collecting a complete data of adulteration in various basic commodities and medicines from across the country so that an action plan could be devised to check the practice.
Chairing a meeting regarding control on prices of edible items and the steps taken by the provincial governments in that regard, the prime minister expressed concern over adulteration practices, particularly in edible items, medicines and other commodities.
He said adulteration was a serious issue which endangered health of the people, particularly the children.
The prime minister said provision of relief to the poor and low income people was top priority of the government, and directed for ensuring all administrative steps to control price-hike.
He said he would chair meeting about price-control every week.
Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed the need for formulating a concurrent system regarding future planning to ensure the provision of essential items. Such a step would not only ensure timely cultivation of the required commodities but timely decision about imports and exports could also be taken, he added.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Khyber Pakhtukhwa Chief Minister Mahmod Khan, Trade Advisor Abdur Razak Dawood, Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, provincial chief secretaries and high officials.
The chief secretaries briefed the meeting about the steps taken in their respective provinces regarding price-hike of essential commodities.
Punjab Chief Secretary Maj (r) Azam Suleman informed the meeting that according to the prime minister’s directives, the provincial government had been fully focused on preventing hoarding, profiteering, fixation of prices of essential commodities and implementation of the fixed prices.
He said the regular meeting of the task force, headed by minister for industry, was being held and it was being ensured by the provincial government that flour and sugar must be available at equal price in the entire province.
Availability of price lists at retail shops at prominent places had also been made ensured, he added.
He said during the ongoing campaign to check price-hike, 228,233 shops were checked by 274 price magistrates. Some 3,957 first information reports were registered and 3637 violators were arrested while a fine of Rs 9 million was imposed on the profiteers.
He said the government was taking action on the complaints of extra prices through ‘Qeemat Punjab Application’, besides deputy commissioners, commissioners and assistant commissioners while agriculture department officials were regularly visiting the markets to check price-hike.
The chief secretary said committees for fixing prices of basic commodities in 36 districts of Punjab had been formed, while 74 grower markets were established for facilitating the growers where they could directly sell their commodities .
KP Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, while briefing the meeting, said the provincial government had been focused on controlling the prices of basic commodities, which directly affected the poor and low income people.
He said the prices of essential items were also being checked from independent sources, while special steps had been taken to prevent hoarding and profiteering.
He said for effective control on price-hike, a geo-tagging system had also been introduced for presence of the magistrates in the markets.
He said the people of the province were also being informed about the prices of basic items through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Citizen Portal and any complaint regarding that was immediately addressed.
He said 97 Kisan (farmer) markets had been set up in 83 tehsils and problems of the growers were being addressed by the district administration.
Dr Kazim also informed the meeting about progress on the system of provision of essential commodities from markets to homes in Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad and Mardan at the pattern of Islamabad.
He said special steps were being taken to prevent and discourage adulteration in edible items and medicines.
Sindh and Balochistan chief secretaries also informed the meeting about the various steps taken in their respective provinces about price control.