Islamabad : Although prices of petroleum products particularly diesel have were reduced by the government last week, the impact of the reduced prices has not trickled down to the common man in the shape of a cut in prices of commodities.
Transporters use diesel and whenever there is a hike in the prices of diesel they increase the freight and transportation charges, but as soon as the prices are reduced, they look the other way around.
The government has reduced the petrol price by Rs18.54 per litre and diesel by Rs40.05 per liter but its benefits have not trickled down to the middle and lower segment of society till Sunday.
More than 80 per cent of milk was coming from other cities in the province of Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Kasoor, and several other cities of Punjab. The milkmen in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad increased milk rates by Rs40 per litre from Rs110 to Rs150 presenting the excuse for the hike in POL prices. They cited a hike in transportation charges to be the main reason behind the hike, but now with a reduction in rate of diesel by Rs40.5 per litre they have not yet reduced the rate of milk and are still selling 1-litre milk at Rs150. The meat sellers are still selling 1-kilogram mutton at Rs1600 to Rs1800 and beef at Rs750 to Rs800. The chicken sellers are also selling 1-kilogram chicken meat at around Rs500 per kilogram.
The onion that was available at Rs70 per kilogram before the reduction in POL prices is still selling at the same price of Rs70.
The irony to the fact remains that after the reduction in POL prices, the naanbais have increased prices of ‘roti’ and ‘naan’ instead of decreasing or keeping the prices stable.
The government has strictly directed local management of the twin cities to look into the matter to provide maximum relief to the public due to the cut in POL prices.
But, the local management seems to be reluctant and gives a free hand to shopkeepers to loot the public as per routine.
Similarly, as per routine, rice is being sold at the rate of Rs250-280 per kilogram, and all kinds of washing powders, soaps, red chilli, salt packets, matchboxes, and biscuits, bread, and other items are being sold at old prices.
All kinds of fruits like mangoes, bananas, peach, melons, and grapes are being sold at the same old prices. One kilogram apple is selling at Rs230, mangoes at Rs200-250, bananas at Rs100, peaches at Rs200, and grapes at Rs300.
Disgruntled people have appealed to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the present situation. The Punjab government should direct the local administration to take action against profiteers and hoarders as they are still looting the public with both hands even after a reduction in POL prices.