ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro, while taking strong exception to the illegal deforestation in the Northern Areas and other parts of the country, has said that it was not only damaging the environment but was also a big loss to the national exchequer and would not be tolerated at any cost.
In his letters addressed to the Chairman of Northern Areas Council and Provincial Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister directed that illegal trade must be brought to an end and strict action be taken against officials and heavy penalties be imposed on the individuals and timber merchant involved in this illegal deforestation. The Prime Minister in another directive to the Provincial Governments reiterated that strict action also be taken against wheat hoarders and smugglers to ensue availability of wheat and atta to the common man at reasonable rates.
The Prime Minister further directed the Provincial Food Departments to take stock of the declared grain storages and ensure that no hoarding of wheat was allowed. He further directed the provincial governments that since sufficient stocks of wheat were available and were being further supplemented through imports, releases of wheat to flour mills should be made more liberal to meet the demand of atta at reasonable prices.