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January 22, 2020

Superstores stop selling, rice, sugar, other grains over price differentials

Lahore

January 22, 2020

LAHORE:Superstores in the City have removed all grains from their store shelves and stop selling lentils, rice and sugar and other grains for indefinite period after the ongoing flour crisis. The Lahore Super Store Association (LSA), a representative body of superstores with almost 150 members and over 200 stores, Tuesday stop selling any type of grains at their stores due to price differentials.

The difference between the Deputy Commissioner (DC) notified and wholesale prices has become a bone of contention. The government is enforcing the DC’s notified prices at the superstores. The LSA claimed that their purchase price is even much higher than the notified price so selling at higher rates leads to raids by price magistrates and imposition of heavy fines on stores. The situation compelled them to stop selling the grains, the LSA said.

General-secretary, LSA, Imran Saleemi talking to The News said the association decided to stop selling grains until realistic price will be notified by the government for the stores. “We have removed all grains, rice, sugar, grams and gram powder (basin) from the stores for indefinite period,” he said, adding the sale of the removed items will not start until the government settles the issue by fixing correct price for the grains sold at the stores.

“The government is fool or befooling the public as the prices of these items are even higher at Utility Stores managed by the federal government industry department and Canteen Stores Department (CSD) managed by the defence ministry. On the other hand, the DC prices are lower than the wholesale prices,” Saleemi claimed. He said the LSA asking the government to make comparison of the utility stores corporation, CSD, wholesale rates of Akbari Mandi and DC price and then make a realistic decision instead of penalising the super stores in the city.

Almost average 2,000 to 2,500 people daily do shopping from these stores. Almost half a million shoppers who do shopping from these stores may be affected with the suspension of the sale of food grains.

Saleemi said the association is devising its future action and stopping of sale of the items could be expanded to other mega cities too if the government will not address the issue. A comparison of the prices of some items which have been removed from the shelves of the superstores with Utility Stores, CSD, wholesale rates and DC rates are as under