LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government has surplus wheat stock that is sufficient to meet food needs of the province. He said that there is no shortage of wheat or flour in any area and the prices are sustainable. He said that black-marketing of wheat will not be tolerated at any cost and the indiscriminate action will be taken against the elements involved in the black-marketing.
The Chief Minister expressed these views while presiding over a high level meeting here at Model Town to review wheat stocks and prices in the province. Senior adviser to CM Senator Sardar Zulfikar Ali Khan Khosa, Senator Pervez Rashid, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Agriculture Minister Ahmed Ali Olakh, Adviser Manshaullah Butt, MNA Saood Majeed, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning and Development, Secretaries Finance, Agriculture, Industry and concerning officials were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister said that the Punjab government currently has 2.7 million metric ton of wheat stocks that are sufficient to meet food needs of the province till the arrival of new crop, while the required wheat is also available for food security. He ordered the authorities to provide Rs15 subsidy on each flour bag in Sunday and Friday bazaars. He said that Punjab Government is running a number of welfare programmes for the downtrodden people and lakhs of families are benefiting from them. The Chief Minister directed that the prices of wheat and flour should be reviewed on weekly basis and report be submitted to him in this regard. The Secretary Food gave a detailed briefing about the present stock of wheat and the new crop during the meeting.
Test report of cough syrups expected shortly: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that calamities are the natural phenomena; however, preventive measures are needed to avert them. He said that had the concerning authorities discharged their duties in a proper way after deaths in Lahore due to the cough syrup, the regrettable incidents in Gujranwala would have been avoided. He said that the samples of syrup have been dispatched abroad for test and the report is expected shortly.
He said that the responsibility will be fixed properly in the light of the report of the British laboratory and action would be taken against the guilty quarters. He expressed these views while presiding over a high level meeting here at Model Town to review causes of deaths due to cough syrup and the situation created after it. Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Special Advisor Khawaja Salman Rafique, Chief Secretary Punjab, Acting IG Police, Health Secretary, Director General Punjab Forensic Science Agency and concerning officials attended the meeting.
The Chief Minister said that the loss of human lives due to the syrup is very regrettable. He said that had the Health Department discharged its duties with responsibility, such unfortunate incidents would have been averted. He said that every human life is very precious and every possible human effort should be made to protect it. He said that the Health Department should have to play its vital role in preventing such lamentable incidents in the future. He said that an effective mechanism is drastically needed to test the raw materials used in the preparation of medicines.
He said that an effective check and balance system should be adopted from preparation to supply of medicines. The Chief Minister ordered the authorities concerned to submit a report in two days on the implementation of decisions taken regarding the Punjab Institute of Cardiology’s medicine case. The meeting was told that the whole stock of cough syrups and the materials used in their preparation have been confiscated from markets across the province and no further case has been reported.
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