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July 18, 2019

Court summons Peshawar DC for raising Roti price


July 18, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has summoned the deputy commissioner of Peshawar along with record in a writ petition filed against the increase in the price of Roti from Rs10 to Rs15 by the district administration.

A division bench comprising Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim summoned the deputy commissioner along with record in the court on July 24 to explain the position over five rupees increase in the price of Roti. The decision was challenged by one Afaq Hussain and other citizens through their lawyer Muhammad Khurshid Khan in the court. During the hearing, the lawyer submitted before the court that after a daylong shutdown by nanbais, the district administration agreed to increase the price of Roti from Rs10 to Rs15. The lawyer stated that an agreement to raise the price of Roti, the bread made from wheat flour which is the staple food of the people, was made during a meeting between the officials of the Peshawar district administration and representatives of the Nanbais Association. The Nanbais Association president Mohammad Iqbal said the strike had been called off after the agreement with the district administration.

Justice Musarrat Hilali observed that the court would order to reduce the rate of Roti to Rs5 if the deputy commissioner failed to appear in court along with the record. She observed that in these circumstances they expect the rate of Roti to be Rs12, but the administration fixed it Rs15.

The lawyer pointed out that the elected representatives and the Price Review Committee were not consulted while deciding to increase Roti price. The lawyer submitted that the abrupt decision was severely criticised by the public on the social media.

After the decision, he said, the public demanded the withdrawal of the decision and transfer of the deputy commissioner for succumbing to the pressure of the owners of the tandoors. The petition noted that before the budget, the price of one roti was Rs10, but after the budget, the Nanbais Association pressured the district administration to increase the price to Rs15. The petitioners maintained that the Nanbais Association managed to get an increase in the price of Roti in the past as well by agreeing to provide Roti weighing more but this wasn’t ensured.

The petitioners submitted that majority of people are underprivileged and increase in the price of Roti, which is the basic need of every person, would mean that many households won’t be able to buy enough bread to meet the needs. The petitioners requested the court to declare the Peshawar district administration’s unilateral decision void and order restoration of the old Roti price of Rs10.

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