The price hike of daily essentials is making limited-income people scream, at present trying to survive the economic breakdown caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic. City residents complain about how the items of daily use are being sold at a higher rate than the price fixed by the local administration.
According to the details, items like flour, wheat, lentil, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, ginger, green chilies, onions, coriander, etc. are selling at rates higher than the official price. Price increases have made the life of a common person difficult. The retailers are increasing the prices of daily necessities.
The price of vegetables has shot up, per kg. The current rate of vegetables has irked the city residents as they keep roaming here and there to find low-cost vegetables to cook food but have to face desperateness. Even the rates of fruits make the low-income people return hopelessly.
Fruit and vegetable vendors say that they cannot sell at official prices, which are lower than wholesale rates. “We cannot put ourselves at a loss. The brokers and bulk sellers at the wholesale market of Sabzi Mandi are selling fruits and vegetables at higher than the officially designated rates. “When we buy costly, how can we sell cheap,” they say.
Hasan Raza, a vegetable seller based in Shah Khalid Colony says that the wholesalers increased the prices of vegetables. “We go to the Sabzi Mandi in the morning and buy vegetables from there. In the vegetable markets, the merchants decide the price of vegetables. People think that we are deliberately selling vegetables at high prices. This is not true.”
Nasir Naqvi says, “I have lost my restaurant job and am now selling seasonal fruits on a cycle van, but the price of daily essentials keeps rising. I do not know how to meet my expenses. I cannot tell you how I am spending my days. It would be difficult for my family to survive if prices keep rising,” he adds.
A recent visit to one of the markets in the city revealed that the price of rice, flour, wheat, and lentil has also increased. Retailers blame wholesalers for the price hike. Shop owners are short of inventory owing to exorbitant prices in the wholesale market. “I did not go to the wholesale market today,” says Naseer Turabi, a retailer, adding it is impossible to sell daily essentials at low rates.
Another retailer, Mohsen Zaidi says, “It is impossible to sell daily essentials at official rates after purchasing them at way higher prices. He lamented that doing business in the current times had almost become impossible.
Citizens say that the city administration is showing no interest in curbing the artificial price-hike on edible items, especially fruits and vegetables. It has no control over profiteers.