RAWALPINDI: Despite having the price control committee, the district administration failed to implement its writ in the markets and bazaars where overcharging continues without any check.
Prices of essential food items have increased significantly due to the apathy of the district administration.
In the presence of a dozen of special price magistrates, shopkeepers are selling essential food items at higher prices. The commissioner recently directed the district administration officials to control the price hike but to no avail.
During a visit to different markets, this reporter found Dal Channa was selling at Rs220 per kg compared to Rs180 per kg last year, Dal Maash at Rs160 per kg against Rs120 per kg, Dal Moong at Rs170 per kg against Rs150 per kg. Best quality rice is available at Rs200 per kg against Rs170 per kg, Basin at Rs160 per kg against Rs120 per kg, milk at Rs120 per litre and curd at Rs130 per litre.
“The prices of essential food items have gone up and the city administration is unable to control it,” said Saleem Ahmed, a shopper at Narankari Bazaar.
District admin fails to take action against shopkeepers for overcharging
He feared that the prices would increase further in coming days. Asghar Ali, a shopper at Sabzi Mandi, said the price hike had exposed the government’s claims of a stable economy.
He said inflation and price hike had made it impossible for a common man to run his kitchen without problems.
He said flour, vegetables, beef, mutton, chicken and other commodities of daily use were being sold at increased rates. He said the government’s policies were actually aimed at the economic murder of the salaried class and the poor.
“The government should take action against wholesale dealers as they are involved in profiteering and hoarding,” said Bashir Butt, a shopkeeper at Bohar Bazaar. He said shortage of supply had increased the prices of essential items.
The shopkeepers said prices of essential food items were increased in the wholesale market.
A senior official of the district administration said the administration tried to control overcharging but traders and wholesale dealers did not agree on the prices.
He said butchers refused to accept the price of beef and mutton and milkmen also wanted to raise the price. He said former deputy commissioner failed to solve the matter and postponed the price list issue for a month.
He said the city government should take action against dealers and improve the demand and supply of essential food items.
“If the government ensured sufficient supply of food items the prices of can decrease,” he said.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2019