LAHORE: To ensure the availability of eatables at officially fixed rates, the Punjab government has decided to establish Sahulat bazaars in all cities and issued instructions to the deputy commissioners to complete necessary arrangements in this regard. The instructions were issued at a meeting chaired by the Punjab Chief Secretary at the Civil Secretariat on Saturday. The meeting reviewed the prices of essential commodities, especially flour, sugar, poultry, and the establishment of Sahulat bazaars. Addressing the meeting, the chief secretary said that the availability of flour, sugar and other commodities at subsidised rates at the Sahulat bazaars would be ensured. He directed the officers to make functional Sahulat bazaars at the tehsil level as early as possible. He said that the prices fixed by the government would be implemented as per the instructions of the prime minister and chief minister of Punjab. He added that the prices, demand, and supply of food items in the open market should be closely monitored. He also issued orders for devising a mechanism to control the prices of poultry. The chief secretary asked the officers to provide the required facilities to the farmers for setting up farmer platforms in the Sahulat bazaars. He said that farmers would be able to sell vegetables and fruits directly to consumers at these platforms. He said that the establishment of private agricultural markets should be encouraged to control fruits and vegetables’ prices effectively. The Agriculture secretary said that his department had issued 42 licenses to the private sector to establish fruit and vegetable markets. The meeting was briefed that a crackdown on profiteers and hoarders was underway across the province. The authorities had arrested 3,099 persons and registered 2,413 cases, besides imposing a Rs 98.6 million fine on violators. The official also recovered thousands of sacks of sugar, wheat, and flour during action against hoarders. The administrative secretaries of Agriculture and Food, commissioner Lahore, CEO Urban Unit, director of Food, and officers concerned attended the meeting, whereas the deputy commissioners participated through video-link.