As Ramazan edges closer price hike goes up

Karachi: With the holy month Ramazan edging closer and people spending more on purchase of kitchen items for arrangements for Sehri and Iftar, the hoarders and black marketers have raised the prices of several daily use items in order to fleece consumers.

Although, on the direction of Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, 28 assistant commissioners across the city had started conducting raids and imposing fine in different parts of the city, in order to ensure stabilize the prices but despite these efforts consumers are generally overcharged in broad daylight.

Secretary Price Committee Syed Zahid Husain told PPI that the assistant commissioners had fined 1473 milk sellers, 612 chicken meat sellers, 31 meat sellers, 129 vegetable sellers, 60 fruit sellers, 110 flour sellers and 76 general store owners for overcharging. “The total amount collected in terms of challan is Rs 3,550,500.”

He said that on Monday the inspection teams carried out raids in several areas of Saddar including Raja Ghazanfar Ali Road and KMC Market Akber Road.

He said that the price list was provided to all shopkeepers after taking Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association, Retailers Grocers Alliance, Karachi Retailers Grocers Group, and others in confidence.

Meanwhile, when this scribe visited different markets including Jodia Bazaar and Saddar, there were complaints that many shopkeepers were charging rates higher than the government price list.

A shopkeeper provided a list of prices of different products which totally differed with the prices written in the price list. For example, the price of Danedar Tea was mentioned Rs 380 per kilogram in the list but it was being actually sold at Rs 690 per kilogram. Similarly, the Masoor Pulse was being sold at Rs 110 per kg against price list rate of Rs90 per kg.

When asked why the shopkeepers were not following the list, a wholesale seller at Jodia Market, Mazhar, said that there was no one here to enforce the prices as issued by the commissioner.

“We know that assistant commissioners were appointed to stabilize the prices, but you know what happens with such cosmetic government campaigns.”