Saturday July 02, 2022

Retailers, wholesalers reaping 100pc profit citing economic crunch, POL prices

June 13, 2022

Islamabad : Retailers and wholesale dealers are reaping 100 per cent profit in the guise of the present situation of the economy in the country but local management has literally failed to address this issue for over three and half years.

The local management has failed to establish a separate department on price control issues, therefore, retailers and wholesale dealers are looting the public with both hands and charging profit at their will in the guise of a hike in POL prices, dollar rates, and shortage of items in the country.

Around 70 per cent of inflation was due to the government’s wrong policies but 30 per cent of inflation was due to retailers and wholesale dealers. The business community increases prices with the hike in POL prices. Similarly, transporters are also increasing fares with POL prices but what should the public do in this situation.

No doubt, POL prices, dollar rates, and unstable political situation are the main reasons for ever-increasing inflation and several other crises in the country but retailers and wholesale dealers are taking full advantage of the present situation and earning extra profit.

If the government increases Rs5 per litre on POL prices, the wholesale dealers and retailers increase prices in the ratio of Rs20 to Rs40. The retailers and wholesale dealers and manufacturing companies are all hand in glove and playing a major part in the hike in prices of daily use commodities.

‘The News’ interviewed different people and Fruit and Vegetables Market in Islamabad and the majority admitted that they were buying vegetables and fruits at cheaper prices claiming retailers sell them at higher rates.

Similarly, flour and ghee/cooking oil are not that costly when they are lifted from mills but their prices jumps alarmingly when they reach the retail shops.

One kilogram of cucumber is available at Rs40 at Sabzi Mandi, if we purchase it directly from local farmers, we will pay only Rs15 for one kilogram. But in retail shops, one-kilogram cucumber is being sold at Rs70. A spinach pack is available at Rs20 in Sabzi Mandi but retail shopkeepers are selling it at Rs40.

Similarly, wholesale dealers and retailers are earning Rs200 to Rs300 on a 5-kilogram tin of ghee and cooking oil. They are earning Rs50 to Rs70 on 1-kilogram rice, Rs30 to Rs40 on shoe polish, and Rs30 to Rs50 on all kinds of washing powders. The meat sellers, chicken sellers, and milk and yogurt sellers are also looting the public with both hands.

Further, officials of the revenue department have been granted powers of magistrates to keep a better check on shopkeepers and vendors.

With these additional powers, the magistrates will be empowered to send violators to jail for three days after conducting summary hearings on the spot.

They will also have the power to impose a fine of up to Rs50,000 on those involved in selling goods above the officially notified rates.

The price control officials will further have the power to either award all the punishments together or in stages. The district administration has allotted jurisdictions to price control officials. Similarly, the district officers (DOs) of different departments including industry, labour, environment, and civil defence have also been conferred the powers of price magistrates.