RAWALPINDI: The District Price Control Committee on Saturday failed to fix the prices of meat and roti (bread) due to resistance from butchers and nanbais (bread makers) who wanted an increase in the prices.

A meeting of the price control committee was held at the deputy commissioner’s office, which was chaired by Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Rizwan Qadeer and Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Nausheen Sarwar, and attended by traders’ representatives and senior officials of the district administration. The meeting fixed the price of milk at Rs80 per litre and curd at Rs90 per kg against their current market prices of Rs110 per litre and Rs120 per kg, respectively. However, it allowed increase of Rs10 per kg in the prices of rice and pulses.

Price of milk set at Rs80 per litre, curd at Rs90 per kg

Meanwhile, the nanbais demanded an increase in the prices of roti and naan, but the committee postponed the decision for a week. Deputy Commissioner Ali Randhawa was not in town and the committee failed to reach a consensus on the prices.

The committee also discussed prices of mutton and beef. Butchers did not attend the meeting, saying that the rates proposed by the district price committee were irrational.

It proposed to fix the price of mutton at Rs800 per kg and beef at Rs450 per kg, which are said to be lower than the current market prices. Presently, mutton is being sold at a price between Rs1,050 and Rs1,100 per kg and beef costs Rs550-Rs600 per kg.

Talking to Dawn, Rawalpindi Traders Association President Shahid Ghafoor Paracha said that they had requested the district administration to fix the prices of edibles taking into account inflation and after checking the market situation.

He said that it was not possible for the traders to sell the products at cheaper rates while they were getting the same by spending more. He said that the government had to rationalise the prices accordingly.

Mr Paracha said that the district administration fixed the prices without taking them into confidence and feared that traders would face problems as price magistrates would issue them challans for overcharging.

“The butchers usually buy animals at higher prices from the retail market and it is not possible for them to sell the meat at low prices fixed by the district administration. The prices of sugar and rice have gone up and the shopkeepers have to sell the same at higher prices,” he said.

When contacted, a senior official of the district administration said that the prices of mutton, beef, roti and other edibles would be revised in the coming days after consultation with the traders and other stakeholders.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2019