More than 300 Ramazan Bazaars have been set up in the province under the provincial government’s Ramazan Package, Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Sirdar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa was told at a meeting on Saturday. Khosa was chairing the meeting organised at Darbar Hall of the Civil Secretariat to review arrangements at Ramazan Bazaars. He was told that besides these facilities, 307 agri-fair price shops and 1,358 fair price shops were also set up to provide daily-use items at subsidised rates to the people.
Minister for Food Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, Finance Minister Kamran Michael, Minister for Zakat and Ushr Malik Nadeem Kamran, Minister for Education Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, the Punjab chief secretary, the additional chief secretary, the information and industries secretaries and and the Lahore division commissioner were also present in the meeting.
The meeting was informed that district-level supervisory committees had been set up to monitor prices and quality of food items at these bazaars.
It was also told that at least 270 people accused of selling items at inflated prices and hoarding had so far been arrested in 119 cases.
Besides, Rs3,535,370 fines had been imposed on 2,834 vendors for overpricing. Khosa said strict action should be taken against vendors found fleecing consumers by charging exploitative prices.
He directed the district administrations to ensure foolproof security at the bazaars. He sought traders’ cooperation in ensuring that people were not burdened with high prices during the holy month.
The city district government of Lahore has set up Ramazan Dastarkhawans at 46 sites where free-of-charge iftari is available to people. A provincial government handout issued on Friday said the commissioner and the district coordination officer were directed to personally supervise arrangements at these dastarkhawans. The city traffic police distribute food packets among people stuck in traffic jams during the iftari hours on 17 points on various main roads. Similar dastarkhawans have been arranged in other districts as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.
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