LAHORE – Practice of overcharging and hoarding of daily use commodities by vendors, traders and shopkeepers continues unchecked in the City whereas price control magistrates have failed to control such illegal practice despite ongoing drive against price hike, sources told TheNation on Sunday.

Sources disclosed that such price control magistrates were entering bogus challans in the record books of City District Government Lahore instead of conducting raids, checking prices of daily use products and taking stern action against such vendors, shop keepers and those culprits responsible of price rocketing in the city.

“They used to fill challan farms and other legal entries (not all but mostly bogus challans) in the record books of their concerned towns and CDGL with entering bogus number of raids and inspections of shops or area markets in order to show their performance”, they added.

They said that in most cases the price control magistrates used to sent their subordinates for inspections instead of supervising raids while the ‘acting price control magistrates’ were lower cadre officials but they are using powers of PCM.

“In this regard, District Coordination Officer received dozens of complaints that mostly lower ranked officials allegedly were misusing powers of magistrates during inspections and were accepting bribe from vendors and shopkeepers instead of lodging cases against the culprits”, they added.

“As far as the fine amount is concerned, the officials on behalf of the price magistrates are entering in the record books and also depositing in the CDGL exchequer from the money, accepted by them as bribe from the shopkeepers and vendors”, the insiders further said.

“Taking notice of such illicit practice, DCO Noorul Amin Mengal ordered District Officer Accounts to conduct audit of all the price control magistrates of the city,” they disclosed.

“In order to hold fair audit, he also constituted a committee a couple of days back in the chairmanship of District Officer Accounts) which would hold inquiries of such magistrates and submit a report of its findings within two weeks”, they added. DCO also directed all the price control magistrates to submit their challan receipts immediately in the office of the DO (Accounts). Further, DCO warned the price control magistrates that strict departmental action would be initiated against culprits, they concluded.

PNLM meeting: Pakistan National Language Movement (PNLM) held its executive council meeting on Sunday.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Sherif Nizami wherein it was decided to take the emergent measures regarding the establishment of the constitutional status in connection with the National Language, bringing the active communities in the main stream, displaying the banners at prominent places and distribution of the concerned literature to the masses widespread. Gulzar Ahmad and Prof. Rizwan ul Haq were assigned the responsibilities of secretary and information secretary, respectively.

Fayyaz Ahmad Advocate, Aziz Zafar Azad, Prof. Saleem Hashmi, Prof. Rahseed Angvi, Abdul Rasheed Awan, Misbah ud Din, Naseer Ahmed advocate and Hafiz Suleman Akbar advocate also participated the occasion.