LAHORE: The Punjab government on Saturday continued its crackdown on smuggling and hoarding of wheat and conducted raids in various parts of the province.
The provincial government has expedited efforts to tighten the noose against smugglers and hoarders. The local administration in Dera Ghazi Khan recovered 10,000 wheat sacks, while 5,000 wheat bags were recovered from Bahawalnagar and Layyah. In a separate action in Multan, 20,000 bags full of wheat were seized and the accused were taken into custody.
Punjab Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said the provincial government is taking stern action against the wheat hoarders. He said that he is monitoring the process himself and ensured that there would be no shortage of wheat in the province.
Last week, the Punjab government conducted several raids of part of its efforts to crackdown on smuggling and hoarding of wheat. The Gurjanwala administration led by Assistant Commissioner raided a godown in Nowshera Virkhan town and seized 5,000 sacks full of wheat. The confiscated wheat was moved to the government’s warehouse, while the godown owners were fined.
A separate raid was conducted in Minchanabad district Bahawalnagar where 5,000 wheat sacks mixed with sand were recovered from a godown. The Assistant Commissioner disclosed that the sacks were supposed to be transported to the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) centre.
Earlier, the Punjab government had conducted raids in Attock, Chiniot, Piplan, Sadiqabad, Multan, Hafizabad, Sargodha and Mandi Bahauddin. A bid to smuggle wheat along Indus River was also thwarted and scores of sacks full of grain were taken into custody.
Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan had said the government would not allow anyone to create an artificial shortage of basic food items by hoarding. He said those indulging in such practices during the month of Ramazan are the country’s enemy.