PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has increased the daily import of Afghan vegetables and fruits from 12 vehicles per day to 100 to ensure the availability of perishable items in local markets at a cheaper price.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was informed about the increase in the number of vehicles during a meeting about price control mechanisms in the province.
Mr Mahmood said currently, the number of vehicles bringing fruits and vegetables to North Waziristan had been increased to contain prices.
A statement issued here said the initiative was meant to ensure the availability of fruits and vegetable at a cheaper price and it allowed the import of perishable items, including potato, spinach, cabbage, onion, peas, radish, bitter gourd, grapes, apples and pomegranate, which were further transported to other districts of the province.
The meeting was attended by chief secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, adviser to the chief minister on merged districts Ajmal Wazir, principal secretary to the chief minister Shahab Ali Shah, relief secretary Abid Majeed and other officials.
Officials say move will ensure lower price of perishable goods
The chief minister directed the relevant authorities to focus on items directly affecting the underprivileged segments of society along with directing to encourage import of vegetables and fruits from Afghanistan.
The officials said the district administrations had formed 97 seasonal farmer markets in 83 tehsils of the province, including merged districts, which were concentrating on the marketing and selling of local agriculture produce by farmers directly eliminating the role of middleman, which had not only ensured the availability of low-priced fruits and vegetables to consumers but had also discouraged hoarding and increased the income of farmers directly.
The meeting was informed that those seasonal markets were concentrating on local and seasonal produce according to which the markets would continue to be shifted accordingly.
Also, strict action against hoarders, adulterators and people involved in artificial price hikes is being taken. A total of 537 units were inspected in Nov compared to only 12 in Oct.
The officials said 26 FIRs were registered in Nov against hoarders, whose units were sealed.
A total of 5,806 food-related units were inspected, while a fine of Rs5.48 million was imposed on law violators and 291 units were sealed, while 137,507 food items were confiscated and discarded by the Halal Food Authority in Nov alone.
The officials also said 827 inspection where carried out against the sales of spurious drugs and 705 inspections for adulteration in agricultural inputs.
They said the actual selling price of perishable items was also being collected from independent sources to ensure targeted action, whereas geo-tagging of price magistrates, who supervised fixation of wholesale price early morning at the auction of perishable items, was also been carried out.
The price of nonperishable items is fixed by the price committees headed by the deputy commissioners in all districts.
The meeting was told that the daily datasheets were shared with commissioners and deputy commissioners for measures to bring down prices and that action was followed by generating trends on a weekly basis examined at provincial level to take macro decisions.
The chief minister appreciated the relevant departments for price control and said the efforts for the purpose was providing relief to consumers.
He said the government would continue taking measures for the relief of people in line with the premier’s directives.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019