ISLAMABAD, July 20: Despite scorching heat, the residents of twin cities thronged Friday bazaars to escape the price hike generally observed in the markets prior to Ramazan.
The Friday weekly bazaar organised by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) at Peshawar Mor witnessed heavy rush during the whole day and even the huge parking lots fell short in the afternoon.
“The rush is only at fruit, vegetable and chicken stalls,” said an official of the bazaar. “The customers would shift to clothing and items of decoration after mid-Ramazan.”
The rush of buyers is justified as the controlled rates bazaars being established by the Islamabad administration and the city government Rawalpindi are expected to be functional from Sunday.
“There is a considerable price difference compared to the retail markets, as potatoes are selling at Rs154 per five kilogramme and onions at Rs144/five kg here. It is Rs5 to Rs10 per kilogramme higher in the retail markets,” said Asmat Zehra, a shopper at the Peshawar Mor bazaar.
Higher than normal rush was seen at the potato/onion stalls and those selling tomatoes, green chillies, garlic, ginger, green mint/coriander and the fruit stalls.
“The demand for items used in making pakoras etc., is high in Ramazan whereas the consumption of some vegetables like gourds decline in these days,” said a seller at the bazaar.
However, due to the combination of pre-Ramazan rush and the ebbing season, the prices of tomatoes have again increased to Rs40 per kilogramme after dropping to below Rs20 per kg about a month back, and spinach has reached Rs20 per pack against Rs12 a month earlier. But the green chillies remain at Rs60 per kilogramme.
Bananas continue to hover around Rs130 per dozen while mangoes were in the affordable range.
Apart from the weekly bazaars, heavy rush was also seen in the markets as consumers bought dry ration ahead of the holy month.
Meanwhile, the traders’ action committee in the federal capital has asked its members to sell products at low profit.
Munawar Mughal, a former president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Ajmal Baloch, the central organising secretary of the committee, appealed to the traders that obtaining exorbitant profits was not only unethical and un-Islamic but also invited the public reaction against the whole business community.