Hoarders, adulterators to be dealt with an iron hand: food minister - Pakistan Today

Hoarders, adulterators to be dealt with an iron hand: food minister

FAISALABAD – Punjab Minister for Food, Mines and Minerals Chaudhary Abdul Ghafoor Khan has said that elements involved in the menace of adulteration and hoardings should be dealt with strictly. He said this while talking to journalists at the residence of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA and Parliamentary Secretary Nazia Raheel. He added that import and export policies must be reviewed to overcome the shortage of sugar and other essential commodities that often led to crisis. He said a huge quantity of wheat kept at government warehouses was saved in the flood-affected areas owing to timely arrangements.
He further said that a comprehensive schedule had been chalked out for the export of surplus wheat under the direction of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. He added that advanced electronic godowns were being established to save the procured wheat according to a standardised technology. He said a new wheat procurement centre of the food department would be set up at village Jakhar near Kamalia which would start functioning in the coming wheat season.
Consumers’ awareness a must to end exploitation of sellers: seminar: Faisalabad District Consumers Protection Council (DCPC) hosted a seminar titled “Consumer protection and the role of civil society” to mark the International Consumers’ Day which is annually observed on March 15 throughout the world. The seminar was organised as a part of DCPC’s public awareness campaign to educate and empower consumers and to enable them to stop their exploitation at the hands of shopkeepers and corporations dealing in products and services.
The speakers were PML-N MNA Khalida Mansoor, Assistant Director (Legal) and PCDC Secretary Sajjad Hussain Bhatti, Executive District Officer (EDO) Community Development Ashiq Hussain Dogar and DCPC member Kaneez Ishaq. March 15 is marked with celebrations all around the world by numerous consumer organisations. Public exhibitions, press conferences, special campaigns, street events and workshops are organised to make consumers aware of their rights as the ultimate aim of this day is to bring important and much-needed benefits for consumers.
Historically, it was the day when United States of America (USA) President John F Kennedy first outlined the definition of consumers’ rights in 1962. The first International Consumers’ Day observed on March 15, 1983, is a very important day in the era of capitalisation. Khalida Mansoor who was also the chief guest praised the organisers for highlighting the cause of the consumers. “It will go a long way to safeguard the interests of the people who are not conscious of their rights,” she said.
Such type of seminars would ultimately force the shopkeepers to issue receipts on customers’ demand and help the tax authorities to bring them into the national taxnet, she further said and added this day provided consumers with an ample opportunity to promote their basic rights. Kaneez Ishaq said WCRD wanted that consumers’ rights should be respected and protected as it also promoted peaceful protests against the market abuses and social injustices. She also gave a brief history of the consumers’ movement undertaken by PCDC Faisalabad, since its formation, to fight for consumers’ rights.
She asked the audience that it was their duty to check manufacturing and expiry date of the food items at the time of purchase. PCDC Secretary Sajjad Hussain Bhatti gave a detailed presentation on the formation of the council and its aims and objectives to ensure consumers’ rights in accordance with Punjab Consumer Protection Act, 2005. He specified various options available to an aggrieved consumer that included submitting their case to the consumer court, directly writing to the DCO or PCDC members.
He referred to a number of cases put up against hotels, restaurants and bakeries in which they were fined for violations and said that so far more than 2,000 cases of violations had been taken up by the council. Development Community EDO Ashiq Hussain Dogar stressed the importance of consumers’ knowledge and buying sense. He said that consumers’ rights were as important as human rights in a society, but they were being overlooked for lack of knowledge on the part of buyers who were always exploited by sellers.
Najma Afzal, Saira Shafqat, Rahat Riaz Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed also attended the seminar that was followed by a walk led by Khalida Mansoor and Ashiq Hussain Dogar.

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