Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced Special Ramadan Package to provide quality edibles at subsidised rates to the people during the month of Ramadan under which 10 kg flour bag would be available at Rs 230 in Ramadan Bazaars, at Rs 240 in the open market while 20 kg flour bag would be available in the open market at Rs 480.
He said that during Ramadan, a subsidy of Rs 4 billion would be given to ensure provision of essential items at concessionary rates to the people whereas as many as 322 Ramadan Bazaars would be set up across the province.
He pointed out that in every Ramadan Bazaar, a fair price shop would be set up under the auspices of the Agriculture Department where pulses, vegetables and fruits would be available at 15 percent less than the market price. Similarly, essential items at subsidised rates would also be made available in all districts of the province for which fair price shops would be established in consultation with local traders. He said that a central monitoring room would be established for the stability of prices and supply of essential items at concessionary rates in the province.
The chief minister was presiding over a high-level meeting at his Tent Office, regarding Ramadan package, which was attended by Provincial Ministers Malik Nadeem Kamran, Ahmed Ali Olakh, Iqbal Chunar, Advisors Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, Kh. Salman Raifque, Mansha Ullah Butt, Members National and Provincial Assembly, Chief Secretary, IG Police and secretaries of various departments.
Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said 10 model bazaars which were operational in different cities of the province are being transformed into Ramadan Bazaars. He said a revolving fund has also been set up for purchasing pulses and other essential items from the market and providing them to the citizens at concessionary rates. He directed that negotiations should be held with sugar mills owners, regarding provision of sugar to the people at cheaper rate while talks should also be held with the poultry association to ensure provision of chicken at ten rupees less than the open market.
Shahbaz said provision of relief to the citizens during the month of Ramadan becomes even more significant, therefore effective steps should be taken to control profiteering, hoarding etc.
He directed the Labour Department to ensure that proper weights and measures are used in the market. He observed that in view of sweltering and suffocating, heat proper arrangements should also be made to ensure availability of quick medical aid in case of need.
He further directed to arrange maximum number of ‘Dastarkhawan’ throughout the province, during the month of Ramadan to ensure availability of free Iftari to the fasting people. He ordered IG Police to work alongside the administration and ensure that rate lists are displayed prominently for the convenience of the general public.
The chief minister called upon provincial ministers, members of assemblies and government officers to perform their duties as an act of religious devotion.
Chief Secretary Nasir Mahmood Khosa informed the meeting that supply of sufficient quantity of pulses and other essential items has been ensured.
The industries secretary said that as many as 1,312 price magistrates have been deputed to monitor prices of essential items, and to keep an eye on profiteers. He further informed that 843 ‘Ramazan Dastarkhawan’ would be arranged where the fasting people would have the facility of free Iftari. Food secretary said that a latest system of monitoring has been evolved to ensure supply of flour to the market from the flour mills whereas subsidised Atta in bags of specific colour would be made available at Ramadan Bazaars and open market. Labour Secretary apprised the meeting that a special campaign is in progress for the last one month to check weight and measures and this process would continue during the holy month of Ramadan on daily basis.