RAWALPINDI: Despite directions from Prime Minister Imran Khan to control prices of edibles, shopkeepers in the city have been given a free hand to overcharge consumers for chicken, vegetables, sugar, wheat flour and roti.
Live chicken is being sold at Rs200 per kg and meat at Rs320 per kg.
The official price of the farm chicken is Rs190 per kg and chicken meat Rs275 per kg.
The local administration has failed to control the prices as the price magistrates never visit markets, said consumers.
“The price of chicken increased as there was a gap in demand and supply. In last two months, the poultry production remained slow and it affected the supply,” said Zahid Mehmood, a trader at the main poultry market in Raja Bazaar.
On the other hand, consumers are of the view that meat prices had already been increased and now they have no other option but to go for chicken at higher rates.
“Mutton is available at Rs1,200 per kg and beef at Rs700 per kg. The prices of chicken were increased after the budget. Usually, prices of chicken come down in this season to Rs100 to Rs110 per kg but this year its prices have gone up to Rs210 per kg, the highest ever in the current year,” said Ahmed Malik, a resident of Nayyar Colony near Chaklala Scheme-III.
Meanwhile, naanbais also increased the price of Roti. Officially, the price of patiri roti has been fixed at Rs7 but naanbais are now selling it for Rs8. Naan was earlier Rs10 but it is now available at Rs12.
Similarly, sugar is being sold at Rs85 to Rs90 per kg instead of Rs70 per kg.
A meeting was held between the administration and the flour mills and flour dealers association.
The meeting was attended by District Food Controller Mazhar Baloch, Central Traders Association Rawalpindi President Malik Shahid Ghafoor Paracha, Central Traders Association Punjab chief Sharjeel Mir and officials from other departments.
Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Anwarul Haq said the price of 20 kg bag of flour had been fixed at Rs860 by the Punjab government and it would be implemented.
He said provision of quality flour to the citizens at affordable rates was the top priority of the Punjab government. Owners of bogus registration mills will be dealt with severely, he added.
He directed the assistant commissioners to visit flour mills regularly to check the records of wheat supplied by the government and flour sold on a daily basis.
He said immediate action should be taken against those found selling substandard flour and above the official prices.
Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2020