LAHORE: The city administration has launched a crackdown on all those allegedly involved in selling sugar at more than Rs85 per kilogram fixed by the government.

In the last two days, several teams headed by the all five assistant commissioners (Raiwind, Model Town, Shalimar, City and Cantt) got arrested as many as 50 shopkeepers, sealed their shops and sent them to jail.

On the other hand, the Punjab cane commissioner has rejected the millers’ claim of on-average buying the sugarcane at the rate of Rs300 per maund and facing loss if the sugar is sold at ex-mill price (wholesale) at the rate of Rs80 per kg.

“This claim of the millers is absolutely wrong and baseless, as they, according to their own reports they submitted to us, purchased sugarcane at the rate (on average) of Rs259 per maund. Moreover, the millers have shown 9.3 per cent recovery (sucrose) in papers while the actual is 10.41pc (average) checked by the mobile laboratories,” the cane commissioner said.

He claimed that millers are earning 15pc profit on Rs80 per kg (wholesale price).

Meanwhile, according to spokesmen for the Lahore division and district administrations, a team led by Raiwind AC, got arrested manager of a cash and carry store at link canal road (near Thokar Niaz Beg) for selling sugar at the rate of Rs96 per kg.

The City AC while heading a team got arrested 23 people for overcharging near Data Darbar and Sanda. Other teams also got 25 people arrested for overcharging the price of sugar and flouting the Covid SOPs. Fines amounting to Rs482,000 were also imposed.

According to Lahore Commissioner retired Capt Muhammad Usman, from now onward the city team would not unseal the [sealed] premises till April 11, last day of the lockdown.

“Since the virus is spreading fast, citizens must follow SOPs to avert further spread,” he said while presiding over a meeting here on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Minister for Housing and Urban Development Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed appealed to the public at large on Sunday to follow the SOPs failing which the government would have no option but to tighten restrictions in near future.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2021

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