Provincial Industries and Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said that Anti-Hoarding Ordinance has been promulgated in Punjab under which crackdown against hoarders has been launched. Aslam Iqbal informed that previously an Act with regard to hoarding was already in place, however six additional clauses have been incorporated in the new Ordinance. Under Anti-Hoarding Ordinance, punishment for hoarding is three years and will be non-bailable, he added. He apprised that Deputy Commissioners of all the districts will be empowered to conduct raids relating to hoarding at any place and 50 percent amount of confiscated items will be deposited in the national exchequer.
He intimated that Special Magistrates will be bound to give decision in thirty stipulated days and the said decision can be challenged in the Court of Session Judge within 30 days. The Minister intimated that in the light of the Ordinance, dealer will be bound to give information regarding production of items, imports, exports, purchase, stock and other related details. He stated that Rs. 10 lac/- fine will be imposed on the dealer found involved in giving false information. The Minister maintained that Punjab government had undertaken vigorous action against hoarders under the previous ordinance and items amounting to Rs. 2920.14 million have been recovered and sold at government rates by launching crackdown against the hoarders.
Aslam iqbal while addressing the press conference at DGPR Office said that Punjab is the only province which has acquired data of essential items through mapping. He further emphasized that the nation is going through difficult circumstances and warned that if anyone tried to indulge into hoarding then he will be strictly dealt with. He asserted that Industries and Trade department along with district administration have been made fully proactive and vigilant. Aslam Iqbal further informed that new Ordinance will be enforced on 41 items comprising surgical gloves, face masks, sanitizers, N95 masks and other essential items have also been included.
He warned that hoarders and profiteers will be dealt with an iron hand. Aslam Iqbal further maintained that all institutions are on the same page and the concept of demand and supply will be moved forward. The Minister in reply to questions of media representatives informed that firstly less risk-proned industry has been opened and decision regarding opening up business activities in Ramazan-ul-Mubarak will be made in coming one or two days. He emphasized that PTI government has waived off more than Rs. 18 billion taxes for the facilitation of traders and business community during current year and will further provide all possible facilities to them. Aslam Iqbal complimented that he pays rich tributes to the services of doctors, paramedical staff, nurses, personnel of police, army and other institutions for bravely fighting a war against coronavirus by standing in the front rows.