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PM asks CMs to set up vigilance to ensure availability of essential items during Ramazan

23 September, 2006

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ISLAMABAD:Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has asked the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan to step up vigilance to ensure availability of the essential items at affordable prices during the holy month of Ramzan.

In a letter written to the four Chief Ministers Friday, the Prime Minister asked them to play a proactive role in fully activating the mechanism of price checks through the recently introduced price magistracy system.

The Prime Minister asked them to ensure that there is no supply dislocation, especially in the case of basic food items and also that artificial price hikes are countered with the full force of the law.

He also asked the Chief Ministers to gear up the local administration to undertake the important function of price control and convey a clear message to the district authorities that, with the legal powers now conferred upon them, their performance must be visible in keeping the prices stable during Ramzan.

The Prime Minister emphasised that with the inclusion of 38 essential items in the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act, 1977 and the amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 providing price magistrates with legal powers to punish the violators summarily, the provincial governments now have an effective tool to act against hoarding and price manipulations

The Prime Minister urged the Chief Ministers to devise a scheme similar to the Ramzan package announced by the Federal government to provide further relief in the price levels of essential items during Ramzan.

The package, the Prime Minister said, should include a broad range of items most commonly consumed during the month and should be made available to the general public through an expanded distribution network.

Setting up Ramzan Bazaars in cities and towns on the pattern of the Juma and Itwaar Bazaars will contribute significantly to price stability by improving the supply position, the Prime Minister added.

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