Peshawar: KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak while expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of market committee fixing rates of fruits, vegetables, agriculture produce and other edible items has directed its immediate dissolution and constitution of a new committee comprising of honest, trustworthy people including consumers, farmers, dealers and reps of we-bridges.
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of the Department of Agriculture about Market Committee here in his office at CM Secretariat Peshawar. The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister for Information Shah Farman Khan, secretaries’ agriculture, law, Advocate General and other authorities concerned. The meeting thoroughly reviewed demand and supply of the food items to market and bazaars and matters relating to the price fixation and role of the market committee and took several crucial decisions in this regard.
The chief minister directed that growers, merchants, consumers and other concerned people should be given effective representation in the committee. He attributed sky rocketing price in past regimes besides domestic and international factors to criminal silence of the rulers.
However, he said at least it will not happen in the government of PTI and every step would be taken according to rules, regulations, discipline and check and balance. He appreciated the timely pinpointing of the negative role of the present market committee by the provincial minister Shah Farman in the capacity of consumer and formal request for its dissolution.
However he took strong notice that instead of taking immediate action of dissolving the committee, the Department of Agriculture adopted long procedure of sending summary to the CM Secretariat.
He deplored that in the pretext of that long procedure, the market committee found opportunity for getting stay order from court for which the chief minister also directed action against the concerned authorities.
Pervez Khattak also took strict cognizance of the illicit allotments of shops in new vegetable market at Inqilab Road and scam regarding its improper usage for residential and personal purposes and also expressed dissatisfaction over the inquiry of the Provincial Inspection Team in this regard.
He directed for the referring the millions of rupees bungling case to National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He said that in past the vegetable market was established with heavy loans from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and interest-based funds that were paid from the taxes collected from the poor people. But, instead of benefitting people they were further overburden under price hike. However, he said that in future such misdeeds will not be allowed.
The chief minister said that instead of loss the market should have benefitted the people and its sample principle is the selling of the Rs.20/- per kilogram it to the people at the rate of Rs.22 to 23 after charging of 7 per cent commission and Rs.1.5.
However, it is the matter of sorrow that it has been sold in bazaar at the rate of Rs.45 to 50 or even above, which is not only sheer injustice, but a robbery of the rights of the people. He said that in last like other sectors, corruption was also rampant in this crucial sector and after elimination of their purchase power the lives of the poor were made miserable. However, he said that the present government will not allow such kind of exploitation.
The chief minister also expressed concern that maximum commission on fruits and vegetables in Punjab is 9 per cent, but in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa it had climbed to 14 per cent and no one felt this cruelty and excess. He warned that that all departments and authorities should identity their duties and keep close vigil on the achievement of the target of 100 results. Otherwise, he said negligent will face strict and exemplary action.
In this regard, he said on this important issue should have been reviewed in on 2007 Act, 18thconstitutional amendment and in wake of provincial autonomy. He directed the for granting of clear role to provincial and district administration in making bring realistic amendment in the Act in consultation with the departments of agriculture and law to bring effective legislation in this regard.
The chief minister directed immediate steps for the dissolution of present market committee and its reconstitution to guarantee maximum relief to the people in the prices of essential items even before the arrival of the month of Ramazan.
He said that it is fact that the market of the provincial metropolis effect prices across the province and stressed need for suitable planning in this regard. However, he also appreciated the role of Minister for Information Shah Farman for timely taking up of this crucial problem.