HAFIZABAD

Despite monitoring of auction of fruit and vegetables at the wholesale market, pre-Eid hike has been started by the profiteers and prices of all kitchen items have been increased for the past three days.

Even the rate of soft drink has been increased by Rs5 per bottle of 1.5 litre.

According to UN agency Food and Agriculture Organisation, global food prices declined during the past 3 months but it is surprising rather unfortunate that the prices of kitchen items in Pakistan had gone up during the past three months due to wrong policies of the government.

As per authentic source most of the perishable items are always stocked in the cold storage by capitalists to create artificial scarcity to mint money.

The source questioned whether any cold storage had been raided by the authorities to recover the huge stock of potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables. He called upon the government to keep vigilant eye over the stockist one month before the holy month to check price hike.

In the Ramazan bazaars, beef, mutton, poultry, sugar, flour and vermicelli all other essential items are being sold at prevalent market rates or higher than the market prices.

Moreover, the Ramazan bazaar has been surrounded by about 100 pushcart vendors and they, in collusion with the TMA officials, sell inferior quality items and fleece the consumers and price list displayed by them has become a mere show-piece. These pushcart vendors have occupied the whole Fawara Chowk and Vanike Chowk and have created traffic mess beyond the control of the traffic police.

As a matter of fact, these bazaars have failed to provide desired results. TMA staff and Market Committee have been engaged at the bazaars but they showed lukewarm response to consumers’ complaints.

As not more than 25pc citizens visit the bazaars, 75pc consumers are being fleeced by the outside pushcart vendors. The consumers questioned how and why the vendors have been allowed to sell the commodities at the entry and exit points of these bazaars.

Some visitors appreciated the Rs5 billion subsidy for the provision of essential commodities at cheaper rates during this holy month but they deplored that the scheme of things has not proved result oriented.

They suggested that in future, instead of organising bazaars, the government should provide subsidy on sugar, wheat flour, ghee and pulses so that all consumers can be benefited by the subsidy at their doorsteps instead of visiting far-off bazaars. They further pointed out that by holding such bazaars, from constables to DPO, clerks to DCO, provincial ministers, advisers and secretaries remained busy monitoring and visiting the bazaars in their respective areas. Consequently, official work suffered a lot causing great hardship and inconvenience to the general public during the month so far besides huge amount on their traveling allowance caused loss to national exchequer. Moreover, huge amount was being wasted on the purchase of furniture.

VISIT: Meanwhile, a minister said that no compromise would be made on the sale of substandard articles in the bazaars. Provincial Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed declared this while making a surprise visit to the bazaar in Pindi Bhattian.

He checked quality and price list of different edibles and directed the AC Pindi Bhattian to ensure the provision of quality fruit and vegetables at reasonable rates. He further said that there was no shortage of subsidised sugar and flour in the province and asked the officers to keep vigilant eye over the hoarders and profiteers and take strict action against the violators of law.