RAWALPINDI - The district government and brigade of its special price control magistrates have badly failed to control the prices of edibles during Ramazan, setting the hoarders and profiteers free to gain maximum benefit by fleecing the helpless consumers.

The price lists issued by the district administration seems a showpiece in the shops, as the shopkeepers are not following the prescribed rate list on one pretext or the other. The wholesalers and retailers, particularly of fruits and vegetables, are enjoying a freehand and are fleecing the consumers in the holy month despite the tall claims of the authorities concerned.

The profiteers increased the prices of essential items including dates, fruit, vegetables, milk, yogurt, Pakoras, Samosas, sugar, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, green chilly, garlic, ginger, mutton, beef, chicken, butter and pulses by 40 to 200 per cent.

The consumers have accused the government of backing the hoarders and profiteers while the shopkeepers said wholesalers are selling goods at high rates.

During a survey conducted by The Nation in different areas on Monday, it was observed that the price of potato has gone up by 20 to 30 rupees per kg as the commodity is being sold at Rs 80 to 90 per kg. Dates are available from Rs 200 to Rs 350 per kg while chicken is being sold at around Rs 160-170 per kg. Bananas are being sold Rs 200 to 250 per dozens, apple at Rs 250-kg, peach at Rs 250 per kg, apricot at Rs 400 per kg, onion at Rs 50 per kg, watermelons are being sold at Rs 30 per kg, tomato at Rs 60 per kg, mutton is available at Rs 680 t0 740 per kg while beef is being sold at Rs 340 per kg. The price of Pakoras has been soared to Rs 240 to 280 per kg and Samosas at Rs 180 to 200 per dozen. Yogurt is being sold at Rs 85 to Rs 90 while one litrr of milk costs Rs 85 to Rs 95.

The prices of most of vegetables including onion, ginger, ladyfinger, cauliflower, black pepper, lemon and cabbage registered an increase. Similarly, the prices of grapes, mango, melon and other fruits have also been jacked up.

The DCO was not available for his comments despite repeated attempts.