ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to deal with the profiteer mafia himself as the government came under extreme pressure due to high inflation in the country with the Opposition making it the main agenda for its anti-PTI campaign.
According to a The News report, PM Imran Khan made the statement on Tuesday while chairing a meeting in the federal capital on prices of basic commodities, especially wheat and sugar, and their availability and prices.
The prime minister said he was personally monitoring the situation and strict action would be taken against the hoarders and profiteers. He said the government machinery would be activated for providing the desired relief.
While giving approval to the proposed measures, he said, “all possible administrative steps would be taken to bring down the prices of basic necessities”.
Federal ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Senator Shibli Faraz, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Hammad Azhar, Fakhar Imam, Ali Amin Gandapur, advisers Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Abdul Razak Dawood, Dr Ishrat Hussain, special assistants Dr Shahbaz Gill and Muhammad Usman attended the meeting.
Dr Waqar Masood, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir, senior government officials, Punjab Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Punjab Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and provincial chief secretary attended the meeting through the video link.
In the first part of the meeting, availability of wheat in the country and prices of wheat and flour in different provinces were reviewed and the schedule of the arrival of wheat imported by the government and private sectors and arrival in the country to meet future needs was shared.
Report on wheat and flour prices in different parts of the country from Tiger Force and independent sources was presented during the meeting.
A briefing was given on the administrative measures taken to ensure an adequate level of wheat prices and prevention of stockpiling, a detailed system for making reliable estimates of supply and demand of basic commodities in these measures.
Measures to reduce price gaps between wholesalers and retailers, eliminating exploitation in the market and eliminating stockpiling, smuggling and speculation, as well as making the monitoring system more efficient were discussed and reviewed. A briefing on new administrative measures was also given to the meeting.
The meeting was apprised of the situation of the release of wheat by the Punjab government on a daily basis. The meeting was informed that the release would be started by the Sindh government between October 15 and 16.
It was decided that the wheat released by Punjab government on a daily basis would be further increased so that ample supply of wheat could be available in the market. Briefing on sugar availability and imported sugar and its prices were the features of the second part of the meeting.
The meeting was informed that imported sugar would be available to the people at lower rates than the current price. The meeting was told that the crushing season will start from November 10 in Punjab.
Existing stocks, imported sugar and the early start of the crushing season will not only provide ample supply of the commodity but also reduce its prices.