RAWALPINDI: The special price magistrates of city district government, Rawalpindi have failed to monitor and prevent the profiteers and hoarders from robbing the public. For the last three days onion is being sold at Rs70 per kg against Rs40 and lemon at Rs350 against Rs150 in Sabzimandi and retail vegetable shops.
In the last three days, the profiteers and hoarders added Rs150 to the cost of five kilogram onion and Rs200 to a kilo of lemon but the authorities are watching the whole drama silently. The city district government, Rawalpindi has publicised phone numbers 051-2372154 and 051-9292563 to complain against profiteers and hoarders but this too has gone in vain.
In Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sabzimandi, 5-kg onion was being sold at Rs350, 5- kg tomato at Rs300 and 1-kg lemon at Rs350. Three days ago, 1-kilogram lemon was being sold at Rs150 and onion at Rs200. Similarly, a kilogram of ladyfinger was being sold at Rs160, cabbage at Rs70, capsicum at Rs100, Tori at Rs150, Arvi at Rs120, peas at Rs100, Kadoo at Rs120, Tenda at Rs80, Karela at Rs80, a little corriander at Rs50, ginger at Rs280, cucumber at Rs60, potato at Rs30 and garlic at Rs280. The profiteers and hoarders have also doubled and tripled the price of all fruits ahead of Ramazan. It will now be impossible to make fruit chat because low quality banana is selling at Rs180-200, a kg of low quality apple at Rs120-150 and better quality at Rs250, a kg of watermelon at Rs100, melon at Rs80, dates at Rs300 and guava at Rs120.
According to sources, profiteers and hoarders have stored tonnes of onion to mint money during the holy month. They are trying to create an artificial shortage of commodities to earn more. They have also hoarded lemon and different fruits in the cold storages, the sources said. The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sabzimandi Welfare Association General Secretary, Muhammad Waqas, told ‘The News’ that consumers are upset due to skyrocketting prices of these commodities. We are facing shortage of vegetables and fruits and therefore the prices are going up, he said.
Assistant Commissioner (Rawalpindi) Ahmed Hasan Ranja said they have formed special teams of price magistrates who are continuously visiting markets to check the profiteers and hoarders. We are closely monitoring them to control inflation in Ramazan, he said. The consumers belonging to all walks of life have appealed to the government to provide them relief at least in the holy month of Ramazan. But, profiteers and hoarders are flexing their muscles to loot them in Ramazan, they denounced.