Under the Ramazan package, 360 Ramazan Bazaars and 2,000 Madni Dastarkhawans (soup kitchens) where free sehri and iftaar will be distributed, will be set up in the province, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Wednesday.
He was presiding over a meeting regarding the government’s Ramazan Package. He said Rs5 billion had been allocated for the provision of essential items at discounted rates.
The chief minister said that bags of flour will be available at cheaper rates at the Ramazan Bazaars along with other articles of daily use. “Providing relief to the masses, especially during Ramazan, is our top priority. All provincial ministers and secretaries have been directed to regularly visit Ramazan Bazaars to ensure compliance.”
He said all arrangements for the Ramazan Bazaars must be completed soon. Sharif said ghee mill owners and the poultry association would be contacted to ask them to lower the price of ghee, meat and eggs during Ramazan.
He said the commodities sold in Ramazan Bazaars would be provided at fixed rates. Sharif said there would be no compromise on the quality or prices of items of daily use. In case of any complaint, the district administration would be held accountable.
He said district monitoring committees would also visit Ramazan Bazaars regularly to ensure that the quality and prices of essential items were in line with the policy. They will be delegated powers of magistracy.
The chief minister also discussed arrangements to ensure security and parking in Ramazan Bazaars. He said the institutions concerned should play an active role to ensure that the masses fully benefit from the Ramazan Package.
“Providing the masses relief is our national and religious responsibility,” the chief minister said. District presidents and office-bearers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz should also visit Ramazan Bazaars and play an active role in providing relief to citizens.
He said the government should ensure that only deserving people benefit from the Ramazan Package subsidies. “The masses’ problems cannot be realised while sitting in air-conditioned rooms...practical efforts need to be made to provide relief to the poorest of the poor.”
He said the cabinet committee should finalise arrangements at the earliest to implement the Ramazan Package plan.
The industries secretary also gave a detailed briefing regarding the action plan to provide the masses relief during the month of Ramazan. He said arrangements regarding 360 Ramazan Bazaars and fair price shops had been finalised and a digital monitoring system had also been evolved.
National Assembly Member Hamza Shahbaz, Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Rana Mashhood Ahmed, Muhammad Shafique, Bilal Yasin, Dr Farrukh Javed and the chief secretary attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2014.