LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Tuesday expressed concern at the “artificial price hike”, especially increase in the prices of vegetables.

He directed the price-control taskforce to take measures to stabilise the prices of food items and said that vegetables would be available at government rates at agri fair-price shops at model bazaars.

It was decided that scope of model bazaars would be expanded to tehsil level. The chief minister told officials to submit a plan in this regard.  He said that a provincial price control authority would be set up on the pattern of the Punjab Food Authority and the required mechanism should be given final shape at the earliest.

Rs6b loan scheme to benefit small and medium enterprises

The chief minister sought a mechanism to check price hike and asked the line departments to play their role in this regard. He said that district administrations should monitor the prices of daily-use items. He said price-control magistrates should work proactively and make sure that rate lists are displayed conspicuously at all the shops.

SOFT LOANS FOR

COTTAGE INDUSTRY

The Punjab government has decided to start a soft loan programme to promote cottage industry in the province.

In this regard, a meeting was held with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair at his office here on Tuesday. The meeting was briefed about this programme. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said the soft loan programme will help promote the industrial sector, especially the industries facing shortage of resources. He said the youth will learn new skills to get jobs. The meeting was told that Rs300 million has been allocated to provide soft loans to the cottage industry. A Rs300,000 loan will be given for a period of three years, with a three-month grace period.

Similarly, a Rs6 billion loan scheme will be started for small and medium enterprises. Under this scheme, loan up to Rs3 million will be given, with a grace period of six months. Under the loan mark-up support programme, existing SMEs will get loans on soft terms and Rs3 billion will be allocated for this scheme.

The chief minister said the loan disbursement process should be transparent as well as speedy and the department should submit its final report along with timelines. Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, administrative secretaries, MD of PSIC and others attended the meeting.

INDIAN BARBARITY

IN OCCUPIED KASHMIR

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that human beings are continuously facing pain and misery in Indian Occupied Kashmir for the last 100 days. He said that curfew is the worst violation of human rights and an ugly example of barbarity. The human history is unable to present an example of this kind of mistreatment, he said. He asked the international community to pressurise India to lift curfew in Occupied Kashmir. He said that India has been unsuccessful in subjugating Kashmiris even after depriving them of all basic necessities of life.

He said that Kashmiris’ courage is unshaken despite cruelties of the Indian army and the ongoing curfew. India cannot suppress the indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris through continued barbarity and cruelties, he said.

Buzdar said that Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan and the state of Pakistan is incomplete without it. In fact, both Pakistan and Kashmir are Siamese twins and Pakistan will never leave Kashmiris alone, concluded the chief minister.

 

PROBE INTO TRAIN ACCIDENT

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered an inquiry into martyrdom of police officials during an operation in DG Khan and Rajanpur. Additional IG (Internal Accountability Branch) Azhar Hameed Khokhar has been directed to investigate the incident and submit a report within three days.

 

KIDNAP-CUM-MURDER CASE

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has taken notice of murder of an eight-year-old boy in Kakuana and sought report from the Faisalabad. He has ordered arrest of the accused at the earliest. He said that justice will be dispensed to the family of the deceased at every cost. He extended his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family.