A mobile vendor of fruits and vegetables in Atalique Bazaar, Chitral. — Dawn
A mobile vendor of fruits and vegetables in Atalique Bazaar, Chitral. — Dawn

CHITRAL: The vendors selling fruit and vegetable on their mobile vans have caused the prices to drop to affordable level for all and sundry during Ramazan, providing substantial relief to the people.

Pick-up vans loaded with fruit and vegetable, mostly owned by young men from Dir and Bajaur, can be seen in every nook and corner of the district with people fondly purchasing from them.

A trader from Shahi Bazaar, Chitral, Bashir Hussain Azad told this correspondent that the mobile traders had given a tough competition to the shop owners in the city by lowering the prices by 30 to 45 per cent, which had benefitted the consumers.

He said that the shopkeepers bought the commodities from the local Sabzi Mandi at high rates while the mobile vendors transported the food items directly from Timergara market, excluding the role of middleman, which helped them to keep the prices lower.

He said that presently the price of tomato had been fixed by the district administration at Rs60 per kilogramme for the shopkeepers while the mobile vendors sell it at Rs40 per kg and the same difference could be noted in the prices of other vegetables and fruit.

He said that the per kg prices of watermelon, peach, ladyfinger, onion and potato of the mobile vendors were almost half of those offered by the shopkeepers. He said that the cheaper rates offered by the mobile vendors had put a question mark on the prices fixed by the district administration.

Mr Azad said that due to the higher rates of shopkeepers few buyers turned to them.

Sardar Badshah, who belongs to Kuzi Banda near Timergara and sells fruit and vegetable on his van in Chitral, told this scribe that he sold his commodities in two days and then visited Timergara market for replenishing his stock.

“We pay more rent for the vehicle on daily basis than the traders pay to their landlords in the bazaar and we also bear fuel charges,” he said. He said that the vegetable market traders in Chitral also transported the commodities from Timergara market, but they left least margin of profit to the local shopkeepers.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2019

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