RAWALPINDI: For the district administration, Rehri (pushcart) bazaars and fair price shops are the only ways to provide relief to citizens hit hard by rising inflation, especially after the latest hike in petroleum prices.

However, Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal said artificial price hike by exploiting fuel prices would not be tolerated.

He asked the district administration to establish Rehri bazaars and fair price shops and double the number of deputy commissioner’s counters in grocery shops.

He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting on price control in his office.

The meeting was attended by Additional Commissioner Coordination Saif Anwar Chapa, Deputy Commissioner Tariq Farooq, Director Agriculture Sajjad Haider, Deputy Director Food Zaman Ahmed and the deputy commissioners of Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal through video link.

The commissioner said supply of flour at subsidised rate should be ensured.

“The government has given a quota of 2,690 tonnes for Rawalpindi division. Therefore, regular records of flour mills should be maintained by food inspectors and price magistrates and it should be ensured that the subsidised flour is provided to the citizens. Across the division, 2,363 bags of flour have been sold where 333,000 bags of 10kg and 100,000 bags of 20kg have been sold at subsidised rates,” he said.

Mr Mengal directed the deputy commissioners to hold meetings with public transporters and inform them that a reasonable and appropriate increase in fares would be allowed.

He said the area price magistrates would be responsible if shopkeepers violated the official price list. At the same time, deputy commissioners should set up teams at the district level to monitor the markets, bazaars and price magistrates.

Giving a briefing, Deputy Commissioner Tahir Farooq said the price magistrates had been directed to remain in the field and a review meeting of their performance would be held on daily basis.

In the last 24 hours, he said 1,178 raids were conducted against food price inflation and hoarding in Rawalpindi district and fines of Rs157,000 were imposed on 151 shopkeepers while one shop was sealed and FIRs registered against eight shopkeepers.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022

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