Eid shoppers throng markets after Covid restrictions lifted

Published April 25, 2022
People visit Moti Bazaar in Rawalpindi as Eid shopping gains momentum. In the other picture, women select artificial jewellery from a stall in the bazaar. — White Star
People visit Moti Bazaar in Rawalpindi as Eid shopping gains momentum. In the other picture, women select artificial jewellery from a stall in the bazaar. — White Star

RAWALPINDI: As Eidul Fitr draws near, bazaars and markets in the garrison city are seeing extraordinary rush following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions after two years.

In the last two years, the city did not see such hustle and bustle in markets due to the pandemic, with lockdowns being imposed before the religious festival.

Eid shopping is at its peak as women were seen visiting shops to buy various items ranging from clothes to bangles. Shopkeepers have illuminated their shops and stalls with multi-coloured lights and decoration pieces to attract the buyers.

Makeshift stalls have also come up in every market with glitzy bangles and glittering jewellery. Even small mohallah shops are keeping bangle boxes handy to meet the local demand.

Traders say rising inflation has affected purchasing power of citizens

Earlier, Eid shopping remained dull but now it is gaining momentum much to the relief of the businesspeople trading in ready-made dresses, shoes, shirts, cosmetics and various other articles.

On the other hand, traders were of the view that the number of buyers had declined due to inflation.

Rawalpindi Traders Association President Sharjeel Mir toldDawnthat Eid shopping was better in the last two years even though lockdowns were imposed before Eidul Fitr. He said people completed their Eid shopping in the early weeks of Ramazan.

“This year is different. People are facing more than 35 per cent price hike in everything. The purchasing power of the citizens has reduced. Those who used to make two or three suits for Eid could afford only one because of the inflation,” he said.

People are not interested in shopping and mostly do window shopping in the evening. He said traders were facing financial crisis as the PTI government increased taxes on the business community directly besides increasing tariffs of electricity and natural gas through indirect taxes.

People visit Moti Bazaar in Rawalpindi as Eid shopping gains momentum. In the other picture, women select artificial jewellery from a stall in the bazaar. — White Star
People visit Moti Bazaar in Rawalpindi as Eid shopping gains momentum. In the other picture, women select artificial jewellery from a stall in the bazaar. — White Star

Rawalpindi Cantonment Traders Association General Secretary Zafar Qadri said mostly people visited markets after Iftar. He said there was less sale during the 21 days of Ramazan only because of the rising inflation.

Nasir Ahmed, a shopkeeper at Saddar Bazaar, said he had been working till late night for the last four to five days but people mostly did window shopping.

A shopkeeper at Moti Bazaar, Wajid Hasan, said people had started visiting bazaars late at night for the last two or three days. He said mostly people opted for less expensive items and were not ready to go for quality products as their rates had increased much.

“We do not like to go to bazaar late at night but our children wanted to enjoy the hustle and bustle,” said Ms Qaiser Raja. She said she was afraid of visiting bazaars at peak hours due to Covid-19.

Mohammad Umer, a window shopper, said he had not yet started Eid shopping because he had not received his salary. He said he would first purchase suits for his family and would buy something for himself if he was left with money.

Some people said they would not visit Saddar and Raja Bazaar for shopping due to the congestion and lack of parking space created by encroachments. He said a lot of money was wasted on petrol because of the traffic rush on roads.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2022

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