SWABI, Aug 10: Traders across Swabi district continue to indulge in profiteering though tehsil municipal administration (TMA) has been issuing price list to them every morning. Consumers complain that mere issuance of price list would not solve the problem, saying the administration officials should conduct regular raids on markets to keep prices of essential commodities at a reasonable level.
The business community takes undue advantage of high demand of essential commodities during Ramazan and consumers have no other option, but to buy essential goods to fulfill their needs, said Abdur Rahim of Chota Lahor tehsil.
Prices of vegetable, fruit and all other basic commodities have witnessed a sharp increase, putting extra financial burden on the common man.
Each morning the TMA issues a new price list, charging Rs2 from each wholesaler and retailer. However, most of the shopkeepers have not been following the price lists and in case someone asked about the difference between official prices and those charged the traders simply refuse sell the commodity to such buyers.
The fixed price of beef these days is Rs200 per kg, but butchers continue to charge Rs250 per kg, while chicken prices have jumped in intervals from Rs115 per kg before Ramazan to Rs200 per kg now. The price of sugar and gur (raw sugar) has gone up by Rs3 per kg. Dates are available from Rs120 per kg to Rs250 per kg depending on their quality, while price of gram has jumped from Rs110 to Rs130 per kg, yogurt Rs75 to Rs90 and one litre of milk costs Rs70 per litre these days.
The vegetable prices have risen from by almost Rs20 per kg during Ramazan. Onion is selling at Rs25 per kg against Rs20 per kg, as price of ladyfinger went up from Rs25 per kg to Rs 40 per kg. Similarly, prices of lemon, ginger, chili, pumpkin, brinjal and cucumber have also registered an increase. Price of tomato jumped from Rs20 per kg to Rs50 per kg.
Prices of mango remain stable, but that of banana registered Rs100 per dozen increase in Ramazan. Prices of apple, peach, grapes, watermelon and other fruits have also shown significant price increase.
The district administration should take action against traders, making it sure that they followed the TMA price list. “The price increase during Ramazan has become an uncontrolled process in our society,” said Abdul Latif of Maneri Bala.
Officials in the district administration said that they had already raided markets and fined several profiteers. However, people said that regular check was essential to ensure provision of essential food items at controlled rates.