Islamabad: The utility of weekly bazaars, conceived to provide bit of relief to the price hike stricken lower middle class people, are fast losing attraction more because of their organisers and checkers criminal connivance with the vendors and peddlers at these bazaars.
In Islamabad these bazaars are opened on three days i.e. Sunday, Tuesday and Friday whereas Pindiites only enjoy this luxury on Sundays. It would be better advice the district administration to shut these bazaars if they do not find any solution to the rampant over charging by the vendors and fleecing the customers randomly.
There are many factors of depriving the consumers of due benefit, on top of them being no or none cooperative staff appointed to overlook any violation of the fixed rates of the commodities with no or seldom on spot checking by any high official of magistrate levels. A market committee staffer was asked about rumours of his and other colleagues let the vendors free to charge more than fixed rates against petty gains said “We have also children to feed” and ended call. The customers at large are coerced into buying their needed items on higher prices knowing well that there would be remedy to their complaints. This correspondent has bitter experience of clash situations when a vendor was asked to display or at least show price list on demand of a customer at Shamsabad bazaar.
The buyers throng these bazaars in quest of their desired stock of needed vegetables and fruits with great hope of getting clean and fresh fruits and vegetables but they find otherwise as the shopkeepers and vendors in connivance with the market committee checkers fleece them at will. Majority of the vendors never display the price list of prices fixed by the magistrate at vegetable markets and when asked to show by a customer they either are offered lowered prices equal to the fixed prices or even harshly refuse and tell him purchase their desired vegs/fruits from other stall. The customer when try to reach out the administration they never find them and even if find they show more sympathy and tilt toward stall owner rather than the affected person.
The vendors usually complain of fixing prices on the lower side by the magistrates ignoring the prevailing market price and put it as justification for their overcharging. Many such vendors even put off such items from their stall and sell at higher than fixed rates. The vendors take advantage of connivance of staff on the one hand while they feel no threat due to common man’s ignorance and insensitive attitude towards their rights.