Spot check in: Swat Breaking bread and the rules that govern

Shopkeepers fined for violating govt price lists, selling second-rate food

Fazal Khaliq November 14, 2014

MINGORA: Shopkeepers and vendors in Swat district were fined by the district administration for violating the government’s price list, selling substandard food items and overcharging. They were caught red-handed in a series of surprise visits conducted by officials on Friday.

The crackdown took place in various bazaars of Mingora, Saidu Sharif, Kabal, Matta and Khwazakhela. Speaking to the media, District Food Controller Ajab Khan said regular raids will be conducted to check all kinds of violations.

According to Khan, a Rs60,000 fine has been imposed on shopkeepers in Mingora for selling substandard milk, yogurt and other food items. He also checked the weight of bread loaves being sold and filed cases against shopkeepers who were found to be in breach of government directives on food standards.

“No violations of selling unhygienic and substandard food items will be accepted and legal action will be taken against those who do not obey government directives,” added Khan.

Food police

He urged the general public to inform his office of any violations by shopkeepers in this regard.

“Anyone can lodge a complaint with us on 9240316 and we will ensure immediate action is taken against them,” said Khan.

Similarly, Khawazakhela Additional Commissioner Anwarul Haq and his team paid surprise visits to local bazaars.

According to Haq, a large number of shopkeepers were fined for not displaying the government-approved price list and selling various items at exorbitant and unauthorised prices. The district administration directed the businesses to list government-approved prices prominently.

The AC also fined shopkeepers and vendors for flouting rules related to the sale of chapli kebabs and warned wholesale dealers to comply with loading and unloading timings at the bazaar.

Public support

Various members of the public voiced their appreciation for the crackdown.

“For a long time, many shopkeepers were selling unhygienic food and there was no system of checks and balances in place,” said Aftab Ahmed in Mingora. “Some shopkeepers were also blatantly disregarding the price list approved by the government.”

The district administration was also asked to visit bazaars in small villages where shopkeepers have been breaking rules for a long time.

“The shopkeepers in villages sell commodities at their own prices and sell substandard food items,” said Zareef Khan, a resident of Faizabad. “However, they manage to get away with it because the government has not conducted any raids in these areas.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2014.

Shopkeepers fined for violating govt price lists, selling second-rate food


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