RAWALPINDI: The district administration has failed to control the rates of commodities in the open market as shopkeepers continued to violate its official price list.

The district administration issued a new price list on Saturday but the traders claimed that they were not able to sell pulses at low rates as their prices had increased manifold.

Similarly, the rate of mutton was fixed at Rs1,200 per kg and beef at Rs600 per kg while in the market, mutton was available at Rs1,600 and beef between Rs750 and Rs800 per kg.

The official price of milk ranges from Rs110 to Rs130 per litre whereas in the market, it is being sold between Rs140 and Rs150. Yogurt’s official price is Rs140 per kg but in the shops, it is available for Rs160.

Shopkeepers say situation has changed after rupee devaluation; commissioner to inspect markets

Furthermore, the rate of Roti, as per the official list, is Rs10 and Naan Rs13, but in Rawalpindi district, they are being sold for Rs12 and Rs15, respectively.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal said he would inspect the market and control the prices of edibles, adding that the government was worried about the price hike of edibles and wanted to bring their rates down and bridge the gap between demand and supply.

He said wheat flour was available at subsidised rates.

On the other hand, Rawalpindi Merchant Association chief Saleem Pervaiz Butt said the price list was prepared by the district administration a week ago but formally issued on Saturday. During this period, there had been many changes in the market due to devaluation of the rupee against the dollar.

He said the fixed rate of pulses should be revised in consultation with stakeholders, adding that they would resort to protests against fines and arrest of shopkeepers in the name of violation.

He said chickpea (small) was available at Rs280 per kg in the wholesale market whereas the official price was Rs240 per kg.

“Similarly, chickpea (big) is available for Rs360 per kg in the wholesale market while the official price was Rs250 per kg,” he said, adding that, “the cost of Dal Masoor was Rs300 per kg in the wholesale market whereas the official price was Rs280,” he said.

He said following a change in government, price of edibles keep fluctuating every day and traders demanded to issue weekly price list because the dollar rate increased to Rs205 and almost all the pulses were imported.

He said that how it was possible to sell the products at low rate without getting profit.

He said that traders were worried about this situation.

On the other hand, the residents of the garrison city failed to buy the claims of traders and said that the wholesale market increased the prices and it was the responsibility of the government to implement the official price list.

“I used to purchased monthly grocery in the range between Rs5,000 to Rs6,000 but in last one year, the monthly budget increased to Rs10,000 and above. We fail to buy meat and milk in this situation,” said Qasim Malik, a resident of Mohanpura.

Mohammad Suleman, a resident of Chaklala Scheme-III, said that utility bills, children education fee, monthly grocery increased manifold and it was difficult for the salaried class to manage their house hold budget.

“The private sector did not increase the salaries of their employees in last three years,” he said.

He said that prices of medicines and water charges from the private tankers also increased but the former government of PTI and present government of PML-N failed to solve the problems of the common man.

Some residents said they would not vote to any party in the coming general elections as nobody was willing to give any incentive to the people.

A few politicians claimed that they did not come to power to control the prices of potatoes and onions and others also do nothing.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2022

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