Monday May 20, 2024

Curtail price hike

By Ibne Ahmad
June 10, 2023

The persistent price hike of some essential items has made life uncomfortable for people of the low and fixed-income brackets because the money they earn no longer can buy the same quantity of goods that they used to buy before.“We cannot go without food, and whatever the prices purchase of food items gets the number one priority for us. We have to sacrifice consumption and use of luxury goods due to the erosion of purchasing power of money,” says Qaaem Reza.“The prices of essential commodities have been increasing rapidly. A section of so-called traders is not easy to handle, as they do not realize the sufferings of the common people and are just focusing on profit-taking,” says Andleeb Jafari.

“These traders should be kept under close surveillance by the city authorities to create business standards in the society by which a systematic balance of profit-making will be created in trade without causing sufferings to the people,” says Rubab Naqvi.

“There should be a city task force to monitor the rise and fall of market prices of essential commodities and the accurate detection of the source from where the sudden rise of prices take place and why, adds Rubab.“There are intermediaries in the market who dictate prices, there are thugs and extortionists who collect illegal tolls while the transportation of goods takes place causing spiraling of prices. They require strict checks,” says Arbaat Zaidi.

“The price hike of fuel oil led to an increase in transportation costs. Strict enforcement of load carrying by trucks according to their capacities and restrictions on carrying extra load also add to transportation costs, which contribute to increasing in prices,” says Nisar Hussain.“A number of city residents have emphasized that the price hike should be controlled at all costs, or else the good work of the city authorities would be forgotten because of the sufferings that rising prices are causing to poor and fixed income group people,” says Hasan Mehdi.

“In today’s globalized economic order the authorities are not able to artificially keep prices of essentials down, because that would also create a disincentive to local producers whose costs of production are also going up with the growing costs of inputs,” says Mohsin Abbas.“Yet the authorities cannot refuse to take the responsibility of mitigating the sufferings of those whose earnings have not increased or do not look likely to increase soon. The best option according to economists is to strengthen the supply side,” says Asaas Haider.Zil-e-Ali says, “Forcing prices down is not an easy task, because the market is quite big and the population has also gone up. Against this backdrop, the authorities would probably do well to supply at least some basic items at subsidized prices to the poor and the people of the low-income bracket.”