Wednesday September 22, 2021

Profiteers rule the roost in Pindi

Rawalpindi : It seems that the profiteers have been given a free hand to loot the public with both hands because a common man has literally failed to run his kitchen due to an unprecedented price hike. All kitchen items are selling at skyrocketing prices, but the concerned authorities are only doing lip service to console the public instead of taking remedial measures.

Before Eid-ul-Azha, the prices of ghee increased by Rs15 to Rs40 per kilogram and ‘atta’ prices went up by Rs100 on a 20-kilogram bag. It seems that we are living in a ‘banana’ state because not a single government minister is giving any kind of reaction against ever-increasing prices of all kitchen items.

Without any fear, the government itself was increasing prices of petrol, LPG, ghee, ‘atta’, sugar, and all other items openly.

The government-run utility stores have been without ‘atta’, ghee, and sugar because mill owners refused to provide these items at old prices. The poor segment of society are running from pillar to post to buy ‘atta’, ghee, sugar, and other edible items at low prices but in vain.

Over 80 percent of retail shopkeepers have stopped selling sugar over the fear of arrest here on Sunday.

The Sunday Bazaars also failed to provide relief to the public because 1-kilogram branded ghee was selling at Rs330 against Rs305, normal quality ghee at Rs290 against Rs270, a 20-kilogram ‘atta’ bag was selling at Rs1100 to Rs1180 and 1-kilogram sugar was selling at Rs110.

Some key post officers from Utility Store Corporation (USC) on condition of anonymity said that flour mill owners have refused to provide 20-kilogram bag atta at Rs800, sugar mill owners have refused to provide 1-kilogram sugar at Rs68 and ghee mill owners have refused to provide ghee, and cooking oil at low prices. “All mill owners have stopped supply of ‘atta’, ghee, and sugar,” the officers claimed.

On Sunday, all eatable items were selling at skyrocketing prices not only in Sunday Bazaars but in retail shops. One kilogram potato are being sold at Rs50 against Rs30, onion at Rs40 against Rs34, tomato at Rs100 against Rs60, garlic at Rs200 against Rs150, ginger at Rs700, lemon at Rs200 against Rs90, green chili at Rs160 against Rs54, cabbage at Rs70 against Rs50, ladyfinger at Rs100 against Rs80, Arvi at Rs140 against Rs110. Similarly, all other vegetables were also being sold at skyrocketing prices here in all Sunday Bazaars.

Similarly, the rate of milk fixed at Rs90 per litre by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) is being sold at Rs130, yogurt is being sold at Rs140 against the fixed rate of Rs105. The rate of a ‘roti’ has been fixed at Rs7 and ‘Naan’ at Rs10 but a ‘roti’ is selling at Rs10 and ‘Naan’ at Rs15.

No doubt, the local management has given a number 0800-02345 for a complaint which remains busy all the time.

Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rawalpindi’s spokesman Shahid Shah said that the administration is trying to provide all edible items at cheaper prices. “Our price magistrates are continuously visiting markets and bazaars to check hoarders and profiteers,” he claimed.

Talking to ‘The News’ people belonging to the poor segment of society have strongly protested against the government's attitude saying how a poor man could survive in this situation. Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team are not ready to accept their fault and blame the previous government. Who will settle down all issues and who will provide relief to the public, people bemoaned.