The Punjab government has decided to launch a crackdown on fertilizers' hoarders and profiteers and issued instructions to all divisional commissioners in this regard. Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal issued these instructions while presiding over a meeting held at Civil Secretariat here on Friday. The administrative secretaries of relevant departments, including agriculture, food, and industries, attended the meeting while all the divisional commissioners participated through the video link. Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Secretary said that no one can be allowed to exploit the farmers, adding that those who are minting money by creating an artificial shortage of fertilizers would be dealt with an iron hand. He mentioned that persons involved in the hoarding of fertilizers do not deserve any leniency as they are "culprits of the whole nation". He said that the government would protect the interest of farmers in any case. He maintained that at present urea fertilizer is in abundance but dealers are creating artificial shortage by storing it in warehouses against which stern action would be taken. The Chief Secretary asked the officers to start a crackdown on the pattern of administrative measures taken to check sugar hoarding. He said that teams comprising officials of district administration, police, and agriculture department would check the fertilizers' warehouses, besides obtaining the stock position from dealers daily. He said that strict action would be taken against those involved in hoarding and profiteering under the law and the recovered stocks would be sold in the market at a fixed price. The Chief Secretary also issued instructions regarding assigning duties to the Special Branch for providing information to the district administration about the hoarding of fertilizers.