RAWALPINDI: Price magistrates have yet to take any action in Rawalpindi district despite clear directions from Prime Minister Imran Khan to control the prices of edible goods.
The prime minister took notice of soaring prices two weeks ago and ordered a crackdown. He asked the concerned authorities to take action against those artificially inflating the prices of essential commodities.
However, no action has been taken in this regard in Rawalpindi district, where a sharp hike in the prices of daily-use goods was seen in city markets after the budget.
Basic commodity prices have been observed to be increasing with every passing day in the last few months, prompting complaints from unhappy consumers.
The district administration has issued an official price list for all markets and bazaars, but has failed to ensure these are implemented.
Arya Mohallah resident Mohammad Azhar said the price of chicken has risen to Rs150 per kilogram, while milk costs Rs120 per kg and yoghurt costs Rs130 per kg.
He said there are different prices at different markets, adding that the price of meat has gone beyond the reach of the average citizen. Mr Azhar said it was difficult for people to manage their household budgets in this situation.
Suhail Akhter, who lives in Naya Mohallah, said the prices of channa daal, vegetables and sugar have risen significantly.
“Wheat flour is being sold at higher prices, but there is no check on the markets by the administration,” he said.
He said onions are being sold for Rs50 per kg, potatoes for Rs35 per kg, ginger for Rs270 per kg and garlic for Rs160 per kg.
“Basic ingredients for meals are out of the reach of the average situation,” he added.
Mutton is being sold for Rs1,050 to Rs1,100 per kg in the open market, compared to the official rate of Rs750 per kg, and beef is being sold for Rs600 per kg, compared to the official rate of Rs450 per kg.
When contacted, Rawalpindi Traders Association President Sharjeel Mir said shopkeepers and traders are having difficulty running their businesses because it is difficult to buy products at high prices and sell them for cheaper.
He said that the prices of everything had increased after the annual budget, and customers were facing problems because of this. The district administration should revisit the price list and new prices should be determined in consultation with traders and consumers, he said.
A senior district administration official said the deputy commissioner has visited the main fruit and vegetable market to monitor prices, without which vegetables and fruit would be even more expensive.
He said the city district government would ensure basic commodities are sold at prices fixed by the government and would not spare those violating the rules.