Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said that the government would use all of the resources at the state’s disposal to bring down food prices by Monday. On Twitter, the prime minister said the government was already examining causes of the price hikes. “We are already examining causes of the price hikes: whether there is a genuine supply shortage or simply hoarding by mafias; smuggling, if any; or a price rise due to international prices such as for palm oil, lentils etc,” he remarked. He said that from next week, the government would have its strategy in place and action would begin, using all state organisations and resources, to bring down food prices.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday constituted a high-level steering committee under deputy governor of State Bank of Pakistan to ensure smooth and undisrupted grant of youth entrepreneurship loans to bring success to the initiative. Chairing a meeting with heads of various banks from across the country to discuss provision of easy loans under Kamyab Jawan Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, the prime minister also sought regular update on the schemes’ progress.Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razzak Dawood, Institutional Reforms Advisor Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar and State Bank Governor Raza Baqir attended the meeting. Usman Dar told the meeting that Rs 100 billion had been allocated for business loans to the youth for three years. So far, around 470,000 applications had been received and the loaning process was in progress after timely scrutiny. He said under the scheme, the educated youths were submitting their applications directly with the banks and were being disbursed business loans purely on merit. The meeting was told that 21 banks were taking part in the scheme which had assured to disburse Rs15 billion loans this year. A detailed briefing was also given on the mechanism to ease out the loaning process, ensure transparency and merit besides duly publicizing the scheme through media.The prime minister said that after their contribution to promote construction sector, the banks’ support for providing business opportunities to youth was appreciable. The prime minister said the youth were an asset for the country and the banks’ contribution to make them utilize their capabilities was vital. The prime minister assured that the government would not only ensure timely payment of subsidies to the collaborating banks but also address all the issues confronting them on priority. The prime minister said it was among government’s priorities to assist the construction sector, small and medium enterprises and information technology and sought banks’ cooperation in this regard. Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday while taking strict notice of the excessive pricing of consumable items at motorway rest areas, directed the ministry and authorities concerned to introduce regular monitoring and take stringent action against the overcharging shopkeepers.In a letter addressed to the communications ministry, National Highway Authority and Inspector General Motorway Police, the Prime Minister’s Office conveyed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s displeasure over the excessive prices at motorway rest areas reported through numerous complaints registered at Pakistan Citizen Portal. The letter pointed out that according to the complainants, the prices of the food items like tea/coffee, juices, mineral water, cold drinks, biscuit, chips and others were almost double or triple than the prevailing market prices.The PM Office also observed the absence of any regular mechanism for price checks and directed for surprise inspections at different timings of the day and night on regular basis at intervals.The authorities concerned have been asked to depute zone-wise dedicated NHA teams for regular check on the prices. The support from the district administration concerned should also be requisitioned, if required. It also directed for display of banners and stands on visible places of the rest areas to encourage people to lodge complaints on the portal.The PM Office also sought an initial report within 21 days followed by regular monthly response. The report must contain actions as well as the comparison of prices charged before and after the actions taken, it added.