Punjab continues crackdown on Wheat smuggling, hoarding

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From Abid Usman

LAHORE: The Punjab government on Sunday continued its clampdown on smuggling and hoarding of wheat and seized a large number of sacks filled with the commodity in raids in various parts of the province and registered first information reports against alleged smugglers and hoarders.
In line with the government’s efforts to tighten the noose against smugglers and hoarders to avoid any crisis of wheat, the local administration carried out raids in Attock, Chiniot, Piplan, Sadiqabad, Multan, Hafizabad, Sargodha and Mandi Bahauddin. A bid to smuggle wheat via Indus River was also thwarted and scores of sacks full of grain were taken into custody. Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said the government would not allow anyone to create an artificial shortage of basic food items by hoarding. Those indulging in such practices in the fasting month of Ramazan are the country’s enemy, he maintained.
He said the food department has thus far recovered thousands of sacks of wheat during raids against smuggling and hoarding of the commodity. He expressed the hope that the provincial government will meet its target of wheat procurement.
The minister said smuggling will be dealt with an iron hand as Punjab’s borders with other provinces have been sealed. He maintained it is the government’s foremost priority to ensure smooth supply of wheat and flour across the province.
Food Department Punjab has recovered huge cache of smuggled wheat during the on-going crackdown against the wheat smuggling and hoarding. The food department Punjab has continued the action against the wheat smuggling and hoarding on the orders of senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan.
The district administration has recovered sacks of wheat in its action in Attock, Chiniot,Paplan, Sadiqabad while the actions were taken against hoarding in Multan, Hafizabad, Sargodha and Mandi Bahuddin. In his statement, the Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that an active action has been taken despite the weekend against the hoarders adding that no one can be allowed to create self dearth of wheat by hoarding the wheat.
The Minister Informed that a bid to smuggle wheat though the river Sindh also foiled and hundreds of sacks of wheat recovered. He expressed commitment that he will not let masses to face any dearth of wheat and flour and all the targets of the wheat purchase in Punjab will be met.