Iftar karachi pakistan
Devotees pray before ending their fast along a street during the month of Ramadan, in Karachi on March 26, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Karachi: Amid a steep hike in the prices of food during Ramadan, the Sindh government has unveiled its plan, the first of its kind in the country, to reward people who will alert its officers to any instance of profiteering and hoarding of essential commodities in their surroundings.

The provincial authorities formalised this idea in the newly promulgated “The Sindh Essential Commodities Price Control and Prevention Hoarding (Amendment) Ordinance-2023”. The ordinance, the first such decree issued by the government of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, has been promulgated on an emergency basis to keep a check on the prices of essential products during Ramadan.

Section 5F of the ordinance says: “Any person who provides information to an authorised officer with regard to any act of hoarding, price hike, and any violation under this Act (ordinance), which results in conviction and deposit of fine amount into the government treasury, shall be entitled to an award equivalent to ten per cent of the amount of fine so recovered to the government exchequer in such manner as may be prescribed”.

The ordinance further says: “The claim for reward by such person shall be rejected if he is a public office-holder, an employee of federal, provincial, local government, or any autonomous organisation under the federal or provincial government, or spouse, parents, siblings, and children of aforementioned person”.

The same ordinance has already increased to Rs 100,000 the fine to be imposed against the acts of profiteering and hoarding of essential products in the province. Previously the same fine was Rs 50,000.

After signing the ordinance, Sindh Governor, Kamran Khan Tessori, warned the officials concerned, posted in various towns, to immediately leave the comfort of their offices and homes and visit markets in their respective jurisdictions to ensure the availability of essential products at the government-notified rates.