LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to provide imported sugar at retail shops at Rs 90 per kg through dealers in all the districts.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Provincial Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal and Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal at the Civil Secretariat on Saturday. The meeting reviewed the prices and availability of essential commodities and decided to increase the number of price control magistrates in the province.

The minister directed the officers to devise a mechanism for delivery of sugar at the Sahulat and model bazaars. He mentioned that only general consumers would get the benefit of imported sugar and its sale for commercial use would not be allowed at all. He said only notified price magistrates would be authorized to check shops, and if any unauthorized official found checking prices, the deputy commissioner concerned would be held responsible. He directed that the process of setting up new agricultural markets be expedited.

Taking notice of the sale of flour at higher prices in Dera Ghazi Khan and some other areas, the Chief Secretary directed the divisional commissioners to ensure the availability of 20 kg bags of flour at Rs. 1100. He directed the administration and police to keep a close watch on the transportation of flour and sugar to curb hoarding. He said that action against hoarders should be continued without disturbing the supply chain.

The Chief Secretary said that monitoring of the auction process in markets was yielding positive results. Praising the establishment of DC counters in stores in big cities, he asked the officers to replicate the same initiative in small towns. The administrative secretaries of relevant departments, including industries, agriculture, food, additional IG Special Branch, cane commissioner, and officers concerned attended the meeting while all the divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners participated through video link.