Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his government is giving a Rs462mn subsidy on essential commodities such as flour, sugar and ghee for which 108 bachat bazaars have been set up in all the five divisions of the province. “This subsidy would continue till the end of the holy month of Ramzan and simultaneously the government is taking concrete measures to stabilize prices in the market.” This he said while addressing a press conference here at CM House on Monday. He was flanked by his cabinet members Saeed Ghani, Sharjeel Inam Memon and Murtaza Wahab. Mr Shah disclosed that his government has set up 108 bachat bazaars in all five Divisions of the province, including 34 in Karachi, 19 Hyderabad, eight Mirpurkhas, 10 Larkana, 17 Shaheed Benazirabad and 19 Sukkur. “The flour is being sold at all 108 Bachat Bazars set up across the province at Rs.400/10KG while the market price is Rs 800/10kg,” he said and added that his government was incurring a subsidy of Rs.462mn on provision of flour at subsidized rates at Bachat Bazars. Talking about sugar and Ghee, the CM said that at selected Bachat Bazaars sugar is being provided at Rs.70-75/kg against a market price of Rs85 to 90 per kg. Similarly, Ghee is being sold at Rs410/KG whereas its market price is Rs.450/kg. Replying to a question, Mr. Shah said that his government has no ample resources to subsidize food items the whole year. “Yes, we are working hard to stabilize the prices in the market,” he said. Talking about minimum wage, the chief minister said that on the advice of PPP leadership he had announced Rs25,000 minimum wage but the federal government of PTI had resisted the move. “To me Rs25,000 are not enough for a worker to feed his five-member family the whole month but even then, it was a little relief,” he said and added he was happy that new Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in his first speech on the floor of national assembly announced Rs25,000 minimum wage which was an endorsement of his government decision. The CM said that the unfortunate and painful incident of fire in village Faiz Chandio, taluka Mehar, District Dadu claimed nine lives. “This was a tragic incident,” he said and added he has got the assessment of the damages which come to around Rs.33mn. “I had personally visited the unfortunate village and met with the affected family,” he said and added that he had announced a Rs500,000 compensations for lost life and Rs200,000 for an injured person. Mr Shah said that his government has so far paid Rs.4.6mn to the affected families. He added that the NDMA has also announced a compensation package of Rs.10mn, of which Rs.7.5mn has been paid. Relief articles, including tents, ration has been provided to all the affected families and sufficient items are in hand at the site to recoup, he said. Murad Ali Shah thanked the prime minister for giving Rs10mn compensation to the affected villages. Talking about the administrative action taken so far, the CM said that deputy commissioner Dad has been transferred and Commissioner Hyderabad Division has been directed to explain his position while the District Health Officer (DHO) Dadu, Assistant Commissioner Mehar, Mukhtiarkar Mehar and Town Officer have been suspended. Giving details of strategic actions, Mr.Shah said that directions have been given to all concerned to immediately put in place the Rescue 1122 System and implement its key components. He added that the Status of Fire Tenders across the province was being assessed and immediate measures would be taken for their operationalization after repairs well as equipping with the new ones at the missing areas. Mr.Shah also said that two more fire incidents took place in two other villages including village Noorpur Deh But Sarai where 20 Katcha houses were ablaze and in village Jhando Khan one Katcha House was reduced to ashes. He added that all concerned stakeholders rushed to the sites and completed rescue operations well in time, therefore no loss of lives had taken place and now damage assessment was under way. Mr. Shah said that 12 to 14 hours’ load shedding was being resorted in rural areas of the province. “I had taken up the issues with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his meeting with him at CM House,” he said and added the prime minister then and there directed the concerned ministry to resolve the issue. The chief minister deplored that the outgoing PTI government made over 700 MW power plant nonfunctional for want of fuel. “look at their inefficiency that they could not place orders for purchase of fuel for power plants in time, therefore people have been forced to face 12 to 14-hour power outages,” he said. As far as load shedding in the city is concerned, the CM said that he has talked to the MD KE not to resort to load shedding. The electricity shortfall of the KE has been met by the federal government. To a question about water shortage, the chief minister said that he had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to Sindh and he assured him that it would be discussed in the CCI. Mr. Shah said that since 2018 the water issue raised by him was pending in the CCI though the Attorney General has submitted his report. He added that the attorney general has supported Sindh’s version on water distribution. Replying to a question about former prime minister Imran Khan, the chief minister said that he has polarized the society. He added that during his tenure of three and half years Imran Khan created polarization in all the important segments of the society. “During his tenure of three and half years, we had talked on telephone and unfortunately that conversation was not pleasant,” he recalled. He said though there were political differences between the PPP and PML-N yet we used to discuss all the issues with each other during the tenures of Nawaz Sharif and Khaqan Abbasi amicably. Mr. Shah said that the country was facing a serious economic crisis and now this country could not afford any further polarization.