Buzdar concerned at ‘artificial’ price hike

Published November 13, 2019
Punjab CM Usman Buzdar directs price control taskforce to effective measures to stabilise rates of food items. — Twitter/File
Punjab CM Usman Buzdar directs price control taskforce to effective measures to stabilise rates of food items. — Twitter/File

LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday expressed concern over, what he thought, artificial price hike, especially those of vegetables, and directed the price control taskforce to take effective measures for stabilising the rates of food items.

He said the provincial price control authority would be established on the pattern of the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) and the required mechanism should be given final shape at the earliest. CM Buzdar directed the authorities concerned to constitute a comprehensive mechanism for controlling price hike while the district administration should also ensure strict monitoring of items’ rates. He said price control magistrates should proactively perform and rate lists should be conspicuously displayed at all shops.

The CM said vegetables would be made available at the official rates at agriculture fair price shops in the model bazaars. A decision has been made to expand the scope of model bazaars to the level of tehsil and the chief minister has sought a plan in this regard.

COTTAGE INDUSTRY: The Punjab government has decided to start a soft loan programme for the cottage industry.

The decision was made during a meeting held under the chair of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at his office.

Addressing the meeting, the CM said soft loans programmes would help the government promote the industrial sector, especially the industries facing paucity of resources. The meeting was also told Rs300m had been allocated for providing soft loans to the cottage industry.

A loan worth Rs300,000 would be given along with the return period of three years and three months grace. Similarly, loans scheme worth Rs6bn would be started for small and medium-sized enterprises. Under this scheme, loan amount up to Rs3m would be given with a grace period of six months. Under the loan mark-up support programme, the existing small business enterprises (SMEs) would also get loans on soft terms and Rs3bn will be allocated for this scheme.

Mr Buzdar said the loan disbursement process should be transparent as well as speedy and the department should submit its final report along with timeline. Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, administrative secretaries, MD PSIC and others attended the meeting.

INQUIRY: The chief minister ordered an inquiry into martyrdom of police officials during an operation in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur and Additional IG (Internal Accountability Branch) Azhar Hameed Khokhar has been directed to investigate and submit a report on it within three days.

The CM also took notice of the murder of an eight-year-old boy after kidnap in the area of Kakuana and sought a report from the Faisalabad regional police officer. He has issued directions for the arrest of the accused at the earliest.

He said justice to the family of the deceased boy would be ensured at every cost..

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2019

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