LAHORE: Punjab is going to meet its wheat procurement target ahead of schedule as a result of strict action against smuggling through land and river routes with the help of intelligence agencies and the Rangers, Provincial Senior Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said on Monday.
The minister said during a briefing of the Food Department, that for the past two weeks strict checking had been carried out on the land and river routes of Punjab, where smuggling of wheat had been curbed with the help of intelligence agencies and the Rangers.
He said the measures had had a very positive impact on the ongoing wheat procurement drive and Punjab is going to meet the target ahead of the time set for the purpose.
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He said strict action was being taken against wheat hoarding across the province and a crackdown was being carried out indiscriminately against the elements involved in the crime.
He added that the Punjab Food Department had raided 436 places in various districts and seized 33,130 tonnes of stored wheat, while action was being taken against those involved in the violation of the law.
The minister said smuggling and hoarding lead to artificial shortage of wheat, which causes increase in prices and profiteering.
He made it clear that the violators of the laws would be punished at all cost and no leniency would be shown with them.
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He expressed hope that Punjab would not only meet its requirements but also fulfill the wheat needs of other provinces.
The senior minister instructed the department to submit reports daily regarding action taken against wheat hoarding in the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2020.