LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed the Punjab Food Authority to expedite crackdown on the sellers of unhygienic and poisonous food to the people.

He expressed these views while addressing a meeting of Punjab Food Authority in which approval was given to the proposed amendments in Punjab Food Authority Act 2011. It was decided to expand the scope of Punjab Food Authority to Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and Murree.

“Those who are selling poison to the people in the name of food are enemy of the humanity,” the CM held. He asked the Authority to put the elements manufacturing and selling unhygienic, substandard and adulterated items in jail.

He said that the mafia making adulteration has to be dealt with an iron hand through collective and coordinated efforts. He said that the unholy collusion of mafia involved in producing and selling of unhygienic and substandard food items will be eliminated.

He directed that Punjab Food Authority should continue indiscriminate crackdown against those preparing and selling unhygienic and substandard food items and should not care for any pressure or safarish. He said that the manufacturing and sale of substandard and adulterated items will be declared non-bailable crime and punishments against such elements will be made more deterrent.

Shahbaz Sharif said that the scope of Punjab Food Authority will be expanded throughout the province under a phased programme. He said that in the first phase, the scope of Punjab Food Authority is being expanded to eight cities.

The chief minister directed to take immediate steps for expanding the scope of Punjab Food Authority to eight cities in the first phase. He said that the role of food testing labs is very important for eradicating business of adulterated and substandard items.

He said that besides expanding the scope of Punjab Food Authority, food testing labs will also be set up. He said that no one will be allowed to exploit the people. He said that Punjab Food Authority should continue indiscriminate action against those playing with the human lives.

Shahbaz Sharif said that providing poison in the name of food is a crime against humanity. He said that those involved in preparing and selling substandard, unhygienic and adulterated items deserve deterrent punishment. He said that Punjab Food Authority should acquire services of best lawyers for awarding punishment to those providing poison to the people in the name of food.

He said that Prosecution Department has also to play its effective role in this regard.

He said that four task forces have been set up in Punjab for taking action against those involved in preparing and selling substandard, unhygienic and adulterated items in a coordinated manner. He said that task forces should take vigorous action against the elements involved in preparing and selling substandard, unhygienic and adulterated items in their respective region.

The chief minister said that task forces have to work by making hard work, honesty and trust as their motto and give results. He directed that transparency, merit and technology based system should be evolved with regard to categorization of restaurants and hotels. He said that the performance of Punjab Food Authority is commendable, however, it will have to pay attention to the training and capacity-building of its staff. He directed that a comprehensive plan should be evolved with regard to service rules, training, career and capacity-building of staff of the Authority.