LAHORE: The district administration on Sunday took into custody two of the suspects involved in an artificial sugar price hike.
The administration had identified four dealers involved in the price hike of sugar in the city and arrested Shehzad Faisal and Junaid Butt.
The suspects were taken into custody under Section-3 of the Maintenance of the Public Order Ordinance, 1960, for allegedly forwarding sale, purchase/speculation of the sugar commodity, holding them responsible for artificial and unnecessary hikes in the price of the commodity.
Lahore Deputy Commissioner (DC) Umer Sher Chattha received an investigation report about the price hike of sugar and directed the authorities to detain the suspects.
The DC issued orders to detain them for a period of 30 days from the date of arrest and their custody would be placed under the superintendent of the Kot Lakhpat jail.
The district administration was also conducting raids for inspection in the market and taking the stock into possession. Mr Chattha told the media that 57 people were arrested for illegally increasing the sugar prices and maintaining stock.
He said 18 places were sealed and the sugar bags taken into possession, adding that no one would be allowed to sell the sugar other than government rates.
Earlier, Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal had held a meeting with a four-member delegation of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, led by Secretary-General Hassan Iqbal, at his office in the Civil Secretariat. Mr Afzal said that a plan of action would be worked out through consensus, to resolve the genuine problems of the sugar industry.
He said that it was the duty of the government to protect the interest of the people and ensure the availability of essential commodities to the citizens at officially-fixed rates.
He said the association should play its due role in stabilizing the price of sugar, adding that no one would be allowed to overcharge the consumers.
He said the government would extend full cooperation for the promotion of investment and business activities and the industrialists should work hand in hand with the government for the development of the country.
The delegates said the association would extend cooperation with the government. The administrative secretaries of the food, agriculture, and industries departments and the Punjab cane commissioner were also present.
Earlier, the sugarcane commission forwarded a list of 12 sugar dealers to the district administrations of Lahore, Sargodha, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan and Gujranwala in the wake of an unusual hike in the prices of sugar observed during the last couple of days.
Our Bahawalpur correspondent adds: A raiding team in Uch Sharif seized 106 bags of sugar, sealed three godowns and arrested six persons.
In Hasilpur seven person were arrested while another was arrested for allegedly selling fake fertilizers in the city.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2021