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March 29, 2020

People rush to stores to buy ‘atta’, sugar

Islamabad

March 29, 2020

Rawalpindi : The repeated calls by the government to remain calm amid outbreak of coronavirus seem to fall on dumb ears, because people could be seen queuing up in front of utility stores as well as cash and carry and general stores around the city to buy essential items particularly ‘atta’ and sugar.

People fear partial lockdown in the city could lead to a curfew like situation in coming days therefore they want to replenish their essential items’ stocks at their homes to avert any shortage.

In a survey, ‘The News’ learnt that public was continuously visiting utility stores to buy ‘atta’ and sugar, but in vain. They said that they had been visiting utility stores for the past three days to buy ‘atta’ and sugar, but the staff was turning them backing citing its shortage. One of the managers of the utility stores told ‘The News’ that ‘atta’ was not available for the past three days while stock of sugar is daily sold before 11a.m.

However, District Food Department Spokesman Muhammad Ali told ‘The News’ that there was enough ‘atta’ and all flourmills were supplying thousands of ‘atta’ bags on daily basis on subsidized rates but common man was stocking the commodity in fear of lockdown situation. “In fact, we are giving a 20-kilogram ‘atta’ bag at Rs800, but profiteers, hoarders and dealers are supplying ‘atta’ bags to Peshawar where they are selling it at Rs1200 per bag,” he claimed.

He also said that public was stocking ‘atta’ in bulk in fear of lockdown. They fear that lockdown will further extend after April 7; therefore they are buying ‘essential items particularly ‘atta’, he claimed. “We are strictly monitoring profiteers and hoarders involved in supplying ‘atta’ to Peshawar,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner (Headquarters) Muhammad Iqbal Sanghera told ‘The News’ that they will never spare profiteers and hoarders at any cost and requested common citizens to remain calm in the prevailing situation. He appealed public to buy kitchen items according to their needs.