Plan afoot to stabilise prices of commodities

The Rawalpindi district administration has finalised a plan to control the prices of 15 essential commodities and increase their supply during the holy month of Ramazan.

According to official sources, authorities concerned have also decided to set up ‘cheap agricultural stalls’ besides ‘Ramazan sasta bazaars’ and ‘sasta cart bazaars’.

They said the district admin will tighten the noose around hoarders during the holy month and for that purpose, the number of price magistrates will be increased to 100 across the district during Ramazan.

Tehsildars, naib tehsildars, senior patwaris and other officials of all the tehsils across the district and heads of 10 different government departments will also be given the additional powers of price magistrates.

These officials will be authorised to exercise these powers from the advent of Ramazan to the Eid-ul-Fitr. Sources further said each price magistrate will be in charge of a ‘cheap Ramazan bazaar’, ‘pushcart bazaar’ and cheap agricultural stalls.

The number of cheap Ramazan bazaars in the Rawalpindi district has been increased to 18.

These bazaars will be established at Committee Chowk, Haidari Chowk, Dhoke Hassu, Khayaban e Sir Syed, Shamsabad, Double Road, Gulzar Quaid, Adiala Road, Chakri Road, Chour Chowk, Chungi 22, Morgah, Kahuta, Kallar Syedan, Kotli Sattian, Gujjar Khan, Taxila and Murree.

Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner has issued orders to establish all Ramazan bazaars and make strict security arrangements there with CCTV cameras at every market.

Officials said uniformed Civil Defense personnel and police will be deployed for security at these bazaars. They said entry to every market will be through a walk-through gate and every person will be body-searched while women personnel will check female visitors.

The 15 essential items include chickpea flour, banaspati ghee, cooking oil, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, green chilies, coriander, lemon, chicken, mutton, beef, milk, yogurt, white gram, sugar and tea leaves.

The supply of these items will also be increased according to the demand, they said.

Officials informed that the deputy commissioner will inspect the auction of these commodities in the market daily.

They said hoarders and those found fleecing customers will face detention of up to 72 hours, while the price magistrates would impose fines ranging between Rs5 thousand and Rs0.1 million.

Moreover, stallholders will face the full force of the law if found violating the rules.

On the other hand, the deputy commissioner has convened a joint meeting of grocery merchants, business organisations, and dairy, poultry, and butcher associations next week to stabilise the prices of commodities during Ramazan.

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