LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a meeting on Monday which decided to set up four taskforces to take action against the elements involved in manufacturing and selling of substandard and adulterated food items.

There will be separate taskforces for the south, east, west and north regions which will take indiscriminate action against the elements involved in heinous trade of substandard and adulterated items.

The meeting also decided to make amendments in Punjab Food Authority Act under which manufacturing and selling of substandard and adulterated items will be non-bailable offence and punishment against such elements will be further increased and heavy fine will be imposed.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that those involved in adulteration in food items were enemies of humanity and deserved maximum punishment under the law. He said that Adulteration Mafia would be eliminated with coordinated and collective efforts as people could not be left at its mercy.

He said that such stern action would be taken against those manufacturing substandard and adulterated items that their future generations will also not think of such a heinous trade.

Therefore, he said, it has been decided to set up four taskforces to take action against those manufacturing and selling substandard and adulterated items in an effective manner and these taskforces will take vigorous action against the elements involved in the production and sale of substandard and adulterated food items. He said that these taskforces will have to work with honesty and hard work and give results.

The chief minister directed that the draft of amendments in Punjab Food Authority Act for declaring preparation and selling of adulterated substandard items as a non-bailable crime be given final shape as soon as possible.

He said that those selling dead and Haram meat as well as the mafia involved in adulteration in milk, edible oil, ghee and spices will be shown no leniency and collusion between those selling adulterated and substandard items and those involved in the sale of dead meat will be eliminated.

The chief minister said that the sale of substandard dead and Haram meat would not be tolerated and the elements involved in this evil trade deserved exemplary punishment. He said that those giving poison to the people in the name of food items deserve no leniency and the concerned authority and institutions should continue to take indiscriminate action against such elements.

The chief minister directed that the administration, police and concerned institutions should fully cooperate in the action against this mafia as there is a need for collective and coordinated efforts to root out this menace. He said that the sources supplying substandard items to restaurants will have to be closed.

He said that the performance of Punjab Food Authority with regard to action against the persons involved in evil trade of substandard adulterated items is commendable, however, it will have to make more efforts. He said that the scope of Punjab Food Authority is being extended to other cities and authority should pay special attention to the training of its staff.

Shahbaz Sharif said that the role of food testing labs is very important with regard to checking the business of adulterated and substandard items and the lab testing system should be made more effective while the process of outsourcing of labs should be completed speedily.

The chief minister also issued instructions to Commissioner Lahore Division for preparing the pilot project of geo-tagging of pushcarts in Lahore.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif said that protection of life and property of people is the foremost responsibility of police and all out steps are being taken for controlling crimes. He said that Safe City project is of vital importance and Punjab government has set up Punjab Safe City Authority for implementation of this project.

He was presiding over a high level meeting which considered the matters regarding Safe City project here today. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that the use of modern technology for controlling crime is the need of the hour and therefore, Punjab government has started work on Safe City project.

He said that after Lahore, Safe City project will also be started in other big cities of the province. The Chief Minister directed that the project should be furthered with national spirit.