PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Tuesday approved the establishment of 16 Sasta Insaf Bazaars across the province within a week for the provision of essential items to the people at affordable rates.
The cabinet, which met here with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair, decided that four sasta bazaars would be set up in the provincial capital and two in every division.
These bazaars will provide the people with flour, sugar, ghee, rice, pulses, chicken and vegetables at rates lower than the market’s, while the government will provide free shops for the purpose, said a statement issued here.
The statement said the initiative was likely to cost the government around Rs100 million.
It added that the government would ensure that water, washrooms, security, sanitation are properly arranged in sasta bazaars, which are being set up immediately and will be overseen by the management committees.
CM asks ministers, aides to check prices of essential items in markets
The chief minister told the meeting that the provision of essential items to the people at affordable prices was the top priority of his government.
He directed the cabinet members to frequently visit bazaars and markets to ensure the sale of essential items at official rates.
Mr Mahmood ordered the supply of flour at subsidised rate up to the village council level and said shopkeepers should not be harassed by departments through visits and that the administration should form joint teams for the purpose.
Officials briefed the meeting about the price control system in the province and prices of various essential items and said the prices of items other than tomatoes and chicken had been stable in the province during the last few weeks.
They said raids were being carried out in the province on the reports of Intelligence Bureau and Special Branch to check artificial price hike and hoarding.
The officials said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had better situation of the availability of food and other essential items compared to other provinces and even at the national commodity prices.
They said the cabinet appreciated the administration and Tiger Force for the efficient performance to control the prices of essential items.
The meeting was also told that the provincial government was purchasing 500,000 metric tons wheat from Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation and of it, 200,000 metric tons had reached the province, while Passco had been asked to arrange another 100,000 metric tons of wheat.
Also, 160,000 metric tons of wheat is being imported and efforts are being made to store 8-9 million metric tons of wheat in the province by Jan next year.
The cabinet also approved an increase in the quantity of wheat issued to local flour mills at discounted rates from 3,000 metric tons to 4,000 metric tons per day.
The meeting was informed that arrangements had been made in the province and online supply of essential commodities had been started in the three merged tribal districts.
The officials said the number of farmer markets in the province had increased from 65 to 80 and that the prices of items to be sold there would 5-10 per cent lower than the market’s.
The provincial cabinet approved the establishment of primary healthcare management committees and health care management committees to give enhanced financial autonomy to the basic health units, rural health centres and other devolved services in the health sector for efficient health services at grassroots level.
The committees will comprise senior doctors, representatives of the district administration, secretaries of the relevant village councils and TMAs, and community members.
The statement said initially, 882 primary healthcare management committees and 108 health care management committees would be established to settle routine matters at local level, ensure the availability of medicines and carry out necessary repairs.
The cabinet also approved a memorandum of understanding between Nadra and health department for the extension of the Sehat Insaf Cards to the entire population of the province.
It approved the minimum rate of Rs200 per maund for sugarcane and Rs180 per maund for sugar beet for the year 2020-21 and declared that the sugarcane crushing season would begin on Nov 15, 2020.
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2020