Will deal with profiteer mafia myself: Imran Khan

Islamabad, Oct 14 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that he will deal with the profiteer mafia himself as the government came under extreme pressure amid high inflation, with the Opposition making it the main agenda for its anti-PTI campaign.According to ‘The News Report’, Khan made the statement on Tuesday while chairing a meeting in the federal capital on the prices of basic commodities, especially wheat and sugar, and also their availability.The Prime Minister said he was personally monitoring the situation and strict action would be taken against hoarders and profiteers, Geo tv reported. He said the government machinery would be activated for providing relief to the people.While approving the proposed measures, he said, “All possible administrative steps would be taken to bring down the prices of basic necessities”.Federal Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Senator Shibli Faraz, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Hammad Azhar, Fakhar Imam, Ali Amin Gandapur, Advisers Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Abdul Razak Dawood, Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistants Shahbaz Gill and Muhammad Usman attended the meeting.Waqar Masood, SBP Governor Reza Baqir, senior officials, Punjab Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Punjab Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal attended the meeting through video link.The availability of wheat in the country and the prices of wheat and flour in different provinces were reviewed and the schedule for the arrival of wheat imported by the government and the private sector was shared.A 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 stable wheat prices and prevention of stockpiling, and a detailed system for making reliable estimates of supply and demand of basic commodities.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. A briefing on new administrative measures was also given.The meeting was apprised of the release of wheat by the Punjab government on a daily basis. It was told that the Sindh government would start releasing wheat between October 15 and 16.It was decided that the amount of wheat released by the Punjab government daily would be increased so that ample supply is available in the market. A briefing was also given on sugar availability and imported sugar and its prices.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.–IANSint/bg

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