LAHORE: The world over, during commemoration of any religious festivities, governments make it a point to facilitate its citizens by lowering the prices of goods, such as vegetables and fruits. Be it Christmas or Diwali, every festival sees a significant reduction in prices of basic commodities.
But, surprisingly, in Pakistan the reverse takes place every year without fail. Prices of food items widely bought during Ramazan are hiked, so much so that the less affluent class is unable to afford it at all. Even if the government sends out a reduced price list to sellers, there is no check and balance to see if the said prices are being implemented. Stalls located on streets continue to charge hefty amounts for the same vegetable, or perhaps fruit, that they were selling at half the price before Ramazan. As a result, households face a significant increase in their expenses and resort to either cutting off other equally necessary expenses or not buying such goods at all. However, nutrition from fruits and vegetables is very important during Ramazan, especially because one has to go without consuming food or water for over 10 hours. Moreover, the temperature is only expected to rise during the holy month making consumption of vitamins even more essential.
The only reduction in prices, if at all, the citizens witness are in luxurious items, such as clothes and appliances. It is high time the regulatory authorities took the long overdue measures.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2017.
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