LAHORE: Expressing displeasure over the exorbitant prices of vegetables in six districts, Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal says the difference among the prices of vegetables is not an issue of demand and supply but an ‘administrative weakness’.

At a meeting to review prices, availability, and price control monitoring mechanism of essential commodities at civil secretariat on Sunday, the chief secretary directed deputy commissioners to supervise the auction process in markets.

He said fixing exorbitant prices of commodities in the agriculture markets of some districts was ‘unjustifiable’ and would not be accepted in any case. He expressed displeasure over higher rates of vegetables in Okara, Sialkot, Kasur, Chiniot, Faisalabad, and Khanewal than the nearby districts, besides seeking a report from the divisional commissioners in a week. He directed deputy commissioners to go to the field to review the situation and ensure administrative measures yield positive results.

The chief secretary said officers needed to work actively to grapple with the artificial price hike. He mentioned that performance about price control would be reviewed regularly and no laxity and negligence would be tolerated. He also directed the PITB chairman to devise an e-challan system for imposing fines on profiteers.

The administrative secretaries of industries, agriculture, and food, PITB chairman, additional IG and officers concerned attended the meeting. Divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners participated through video-link.

NOTICE: The chief secretary took notice of the incident of not administering anti-rabies vaccine to a child injured due to dog bite at the Rural Health Center (RHC) of Uch Sharif.

The chief executive officer of the Bahawalpur District Health Authority suspended RHC Medical Officer Dr Habibullah and set up a three-member committee to probe into the matter. The committee will complete the inquiry in three days.

A preliminary report of the incident has also been submitted to the chief secretary that says the incident of dog bite took place in Basti Sial. The child could not be vaccinated as the medicine store of the centre was closed at night. The RHC Uch Sharif has an ample stock of anti-rabies vaccine and the affected child had now been vaccinated.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2021

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