LAHORE - Provincial Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal on Sunday presided over a meeting of task force on price control to review steps taken for keeping the prices of essential commodities under control. Performance of price control magistrates also came under review.

The industries and trade secretary, secretaries of the concerned departments, industries director general and senior officials participated in the meeting. Commissioners and deputy commissioners also attended the meeting via video link across the province.

Addressing the participants in the meeting, Aslam Iqbal said that earning due profit was a right, but making undue profit amounted to robbery on the rights of people.

He said profiteers will never be allowed to snatch the rights of consumers and the PTI government will go to every limit to secure the rights of common people.

Aslam Iqbal expressed indignation over the sale of essential items exceeding fixed prices and directed that administration of DG Khan should improve the prevailing situation forthwith.

“If prices are to be increased then they can be elevated overnight and it takes months to decrease them and such practices will have to be changed,” he said, adding that prices of different brands of ghee had been fixed varying between Rs140 to 180 per kg after consultations with ghee manufacturers.

 He said strict action should be taken against those violating fixed prices. He said that special attention should be paid to the prices of vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes and onions and monitoring should be done on the prices of essential edibles, their quality and provision to 32 modern bazaars across the province.

A report was also presented during the meeting about the steps taken by Price Control Magistrates on November 15.

According to details of the report, raids were conducted on 9213 shops across the province and 1855 violations regarding to profiteering surfaced. At least 273 cases were registered in which 158 persons were arrested and fines amounting to Rs4.2 million were imposed.