Punjab Govt announces Rs 5.5 bln special Ramzan package, prices of items to be reduced by 25%
Punjab's Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on consumer prices

LAHORE, Apr 9 (APP):Punjab’s Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan Friday announced a special Ramazan package worth Rs 5.5 billion for the people of province, saying the prices of essential commodities, including chicken, fruits, pulses, vegetables, ghee and eggs, would be reduced by 25 percent.

Addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on consumer prices here, he said the prime minister had appreciated the steps taken by the Punjab Government for controlling inflation and price hike.

“We promised the people to keep the prices under control and now sugar will be made available at Rs 85 per kilogram as per the instructions of the prime minister.”

He said the provincial government would procure wheat at the rate of Rs 1,800 per 40 kilograms on the prime minister’s directives by raising its support price by Rs 400.

It was a record increase in the support price for the farmers, who were the backbone of the country’s economy, he said. The procurement of wheat had started from South Punjab and four to five million tonnes of wheat would be procured.

Aleem Khan said as per the prime minister’s desire, the 10 kg flour bag would be available in the special Ramazan bazaars for Rs 375.

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Similarly, he said, the price of sugar would be kept at Rs 85 per kg, and the High Court had also endorsed the government’s decision in that regard.

The senior minister said across Punjab, the reduction in prices would be ensured with strict measures against profiteering.

Aleem Khan said the prime minister was taking weekly reports from the Federal Bureau of Statistics on the prices of essential items.

He said it was unfortunate that the 20 kg flour bag was being sold at Rs 1,200 to Rs 1400 in Karachi. He asked the Sindh Government to procure wheat at Rs 2,000 per 40 kg and then give it to the flour millers at subsidized rates as it would ultimately benefit the consumer.

He stressed that the Sindh Government should provide a special relief package to the citizens. The prices of every day items should be the same in the whole country, he remarked.

The minister asked the media to bring into notice of the government if it found anyone selling products at more than the government’s fixed rates. The district committees would monitor the prices of essential items in the province.

Special Assistant Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the special Ramazan package would be worth Rs 5.5 billion and the items at reduced prices would be sold in 364 special Ramzan bazaars across the province.

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The Ramzan bazaars, she said, would be later converted into Eid and Sahulat bazaars to provide inexpensive and quality products, and fill any demand and supply gaps.

Dr Firdous said the mills in Punjab would have to provide 155 metric tonnes of sugar to the consumers. The government would cap the prices of essential items at the level of 2018 and further steps would be taken to avoid price hikes by the sugar mafia and other unscrupulous elements. she added.

Responding to questions of media, Aleem Khan said there was no doubt Jehangir Tareen had immensely supported the Pakistan Tehreek i Insaf (PTI).

He (Aleem) himself went through the process of accountability, and likewise, every minister or party member should be held accountable for his decisions, he added.

The minister said all the 21 sugar mills would be treated equally before the law irrespective of their owners.

Dr Firdous expressed the apprehension that the bye election in Daska could cause the further spread of COVID-19.

The Punjab Government would facilitate holding of the bye-election in Daska constituency, she added.