Five new model bazaars would most probably be opening by the end of this month in Lahore. As these locations would be opened for business, the total count of these model bazaars would reach up to thirty-two in Punjab.

Nasir Rafiq—Acting CEO—Punjab Model Bazaars Management Company (PMBMC) told a local newspaper that the new model bazaars are almost near completion in Jhang, Vehari, Chakwal, Lodhran, and Farooqabad district.

He mentioned that during the initial or first phase of the plan the firm would be building and improving the model bazaars situated in Lahore and Central Punjab region.

The acting CEO highlighted that the company is focused and willing to make new model bazaars in the districts of South Punjab—Mandi Baha Uddin, Multan, Bahawalnagar, Sheikhupura city and the other less developed areas of the province. The challenge is to find the state land for the making of these bazaars which is kind of difficult.

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Mr. Rafiq indicated that many local MNAs, Deputy commissioners, and MPAs all are trying to find some suitable state area for the making of these new model bazaars in the defined districts, but so far, no success has yet been achieved. Many proposals are lying in the respective offices of the Revenue Board (BoR).

He added that the government has provided the needed financial resources for the construction of the model bazaars in all the districts, but the firm needs land for their building. He indicated that several properties were marked in Multan district for making the new model bazaar but PMBMC was told repeatedly that the property in question belongs to some government department and could not be spared for the making of a model bazaar.

Mr. Rafiq said that public-private collaboration idea was not feasible for the model bazaars as the company wants to provide all the supplies at the government specified rates. He specified that in majority cases the company provides free electricity and basic facilities to all the salespersons to keep the prices as low as possible. The offered shops or kiosks are provided at a rent of rupees two thousand to rupees three thousand a month.

He added that they do not want to commercialize the model bazaar project as that would be bringing a negative influence on the commodity rates.

Presently, twenty-seven model bazaars are functional throughout Punjab and five new model bazaars are in the final stages of completion.

The company has recently soared a tender of about rupees hundred million for the making of the new model bazaars in Punjab.

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