Prices of essential items rise as Ramazan begins

ISLAMABAD: With the arrival of the holy month of Ramazan, the rates of the daily-use items have sky-rocketed while the profiteers and hoarders seem to be looking to gain the maximum benefit from the people's vulnerability.The prices of the products had already gone up to the sky before the start of Ramazan. Vegetables, fruits, and all other basic commodities have witnessed 25 percent to 30 percent increase in their prices, increasing burden on the common man. Habitually, only the prices of fruits and vegetable go up before Ramazan but this time, the prices of more than 20 daily commodities like sugar, rice, pulses, chicken, beef, and mutton, vegetables, and fruit prices have gone up. Similar to every year, the price control system of the city district government have failed in controlling the prices. The price lists issued by the local administration seems a showpiece in the shops since the shopkeepers are not following the set rate lists.The wholesalers and retailers, mostly of fruits and vegetables, are enjoying a complete discretion and are cheating the consumers in the holy month, despite the tall claims of the authorities concerned. Even the price of sugar has gone up by Rs 5 and now has reached Rs 60 per kilogramme. Dates are available from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per half kilogramme while the chicken is being sold at around Rs 320 to 360 per kilogramme. Gram is regularly used in Ramazan for making pakoras for Iftar and its price has soared to Rs 120 to 140 per kilogramme. Yogurt is being sold at Rs 90 to Rs 110 while one litre of milk costs Rs 85 to Rs 105.The prices of most of the vegetables including potato, onion, ginger, ladyfinger, cauliflower, black pepper, lemon, and cabbage recorded raise. Similarly, the prices of apple, grapes, banana, mango, melon, and other fruits have also increased by 30 to 40 percent. The purchasers complained that "it is a yearly routine that before the start of Ramazan, the shopkeepers increase the prices of fruits and vegetables which is unnecessary and against the spirit of Islam". Zahid Hussain, a government employee, said that the price hike had made it impossible for the common man to run his kitchen. "Even in Ramazan, they have no shame," he said. Although the shopkeepers were of the view that they had nothing to do with the price hike and argued that the prices had increased in the wholesale market.?The prices also remained high at the so-called 'low-price' Sunday bazaars. A similar increase has been seen in the prices of kitchen items, the prices of which have been on the rise since the last week.  The consumers complained that the Sasta Bazaars could only be useful if the prices were checked by the administration and stern action taken against the profiteers.During the visit to various markets, mangoes were being sold at Rs 100-160 per kilogramme, Bananas were being sold at Rs 160-255 per dozen and apple at Rs 100-250 per kilogramme. While the potatoes were being sold at Rs 80-90 per kilogramme, tomatoes were available at Rs 50 to70 per kilogramme, onion was available at Rs 50 per kilogramme, curd at Rs 120 per kilogramme, pumpkin was available at Rs 40-45 per kilogramme, tinda at Rs 60-70 per kilogramme, green toori at Rs 50-60 per kilogramme, ladyfinger at Rs 60 per kilogramme, bitter gourd Karela at Rs 70-90 per kilogramme and capsicum at Rs 70-80 per kilogramme.

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