PESHAWAR: Locals have voiced their grievances over the government’s failure to maintain checks and balances on the prices of food commodities, especially of fruits, in the city’s markets ahead of Ramazan.
The prices of fruits along with other items were abruptly increased by vendors at various markets.
A survey conducted by The Express Tribune suggested prices of fruits were increased in violation of the price list which was issued to the shopkeepers by the provincial government.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Alam, a resident of Gulbahar, said the district administration had failed to take action against those vendors and shopkeepers who were not following the official price list. However, he said, food prices had surged during the last three days.
According to the price list, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the price of apples has been fixed at Rs200 by the relevant authorities but were being sold at a price ranging from Rs250 to Rs300 in the open market. Similarly, the official price of apricots was listed as Rs75, but the vendors were selling it at a rate of Rs150. In addition, mangoes — which ought to be priced at Rs120 under the price list — were being sold at price ranging from Rs150 to Rs200.
“I bought apples at Rs270 from a vendor in Gulbahar,” he said.
He added the vendors were cheating customers and selling fruits at higher prices.
However, apart from fruits, the residents also raised a series of concerns about the increase in prices of essential kitchen items. They accused the authorities of not maintaining checks and balances over the price list, especially at super markets.
They said the government should control the prices of food commodities particularly in Ramazan to provide relief to the public.
Arshad Ali, a resident of Nothia, said, “I have never seen a price list in the markets in my area despite orders by the district administration to display them for the convenience of the customers.”
During the survey, The Express Tribune also found old price lists at different shops situated in Gulbahar, Nothia, Hashtnagri and Firdous Market .
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner’s Spokesperson Sajjad Khan told The Express Tribune the district government officials regularly check prices in the markets. He said the DC had directed the authorities to implement the official food price list in Ramazan in order to facilitate the people.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2016.