A meeting, presided over by Punjab Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal on Thursday, decided to fully activate the district consumer protection councils (DCPCs) in the districts and intensify crackdown on wheat and flour smuggling. He directed all deputy commissioners to ensure availability of commodities at fixed rates, saying that ranking for the districts would be done on the basis of their performance in the price control measures. He issued the direction in a video-link meeting, called to review the prices and availability of commodities, at the Civil Secretariat. The chief secretary said the availability of food items at fixed prices is the primary responsibility of the administrative officers, adding that they must perform their duties diligently to provide relief to people from price-hike. He directed the Industries Department to persuade the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturing Association (PVMA) to bring down the prices of ghee. He asked the deputy commissioners to hold regular meetings of the district price control committees and continue monitoring of the auctions in the markets to stabilise the prices of vegetables. The chief secretary said the Punjab government had issued orders to begin the crushing season from Nov 25. He said action would be taken against the sugar mills that do not follow the orders. In the meeting, it was decided to issue notices to 17 sugar mills that have not started boilers so far. The secretary industries told the meeting that there are ample stocks of flour and sugar in the province and a 20-kg bag of flour is available everywhere at a discounted price of Rs 1,295. The secretary Food, Special Secretary Agriculture, Cane Commissioner Punjab and officers concerned attended the meeting.