LAHORE: A number of shoppers said on Sunday they were not satisfied with the quality of essential commodities, including fruits and vegetables, at Ramazan Bazaars.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, they said most vendors were selling substandard commodities right under the nose of the administration. They said it seemed that the government had been focusing on publicity only. Muhammad Shahzad and Kamran, two shoppers at Ramazan Bazaar at Model Town Link Road, said the quality of melons was poor. They said there was also no difference in the prices at the bazaar and open market.
Kamran said street vendors were offering good quality melons for Rs40 a kilogramme. “They are willing to negotiate the price if one buys five kilogrammes or more melons. At the Ramazan Bazaar, low quality melons are sold for the price of premium fruits.” Melons were available for Rs45 to Rs47 a kilogramme at Ramazan Bazaars.
Imran, another shopper, said that lemons were earlier not available at the bazaars. “The government has now ensured their availability but it has been unable to control their prices.” He said market committee officials were involved in fleecing consumers. He said the government had fixed the price of lemons at Rs174 a kilogramme but they sold for Rs180 a kilogramme at the bazaar. Naheed Bibi said she had visited Township and Model Town bazaars but could not find good quality date palm. She said dates sold at Ramazan Bazaars were of low quality and their price was not less than the open market. According to the official price list issued by market committee, prices of most fruit and vegetables were stable at Ramazan Bazaars on Sunday.
Potatoes were sold for Rs29 to Rs31 a kilogramme; onions for Rs24 to Rs26 a kilogramme; tomatoes for Rs19 to Rs21 a kilogramme, ginger (Thai) for Rs42 to Rs44 a kilogramme; ginger (Chinese) for Rs81 to Rs86 a kilogramme and garlic (Chinese) for Rs156 to Rs162 a kilogramme. Brinjals were sold for Rs33 to Rs36 a kilogramme; cucumber for Rs32 to Rs35 a kilogramme; garlic (native) for Rs135 to Rs141 a kilogramme; bitter gourd for Rs28 to Rs31 a kilogramme; spinach for Rs22 to Rs24 a kilogramme; lemons (native) for Rs156 to Rs162 a kilogramme; lemons (second grade) for Rs90 to Rs96 a kilogramme; pumpkin for Rs5 to Rs7 a kilogramme; beans for Rs58 to Rs62 a kilogramme; cabbage for Rs22 to Rs24 a kilogramme; cauliflower for Rs48 to Rs51 a kilogramme; bottle gourd for Rs24 to Rs26 a kilogramme; green chili for Rs39 to Rs41 a kilogramme; capsicums for Rs53 to Rs56 a kilogramme; taro root (arvi) for Rs72 to Rs76 a kilogramme; sponge gourd for Rs24 to Rs26 a kilogramme; okra for Rs43 to Rs45 a kilogramme; peas for Rs85 to Rs90 a kilogramme; radishes for Rs9 to Rs11 a kilogramme; carrots (Chinese) for Rs24 to Rs26 a kilogramme and unripe mangoes (kairi) for Rs19 to Rs21 a kilogramme.
Apple (kala kolo) from hilly areas was sold for Rs135 to Rs141 a kilogramme; apple from plain areas for Rs77 to Rs81 a kilogramme and apple (white and amree) for Rs77 to Rs81 a kilogramme. New Zealand and Chinese varieties of apples were available for Rs250 to Rs256 and Rs180 to Rs186 a kilogramme, respectively. Watermelon was sold for Rs13 to Rs15 a kilogramme; bananas (first grade) for Rs90 to Rs96 a dozen and their second grade variety for Rs60 to Rs64 a dozen; yellow apricot for Rs90 to Rs96 a kilogramme; white apricot for Rs156 to Rs162 a kilogramme; honeydew for Rs53 to Rs56 a kilogramme; papaya for Rs73 to Rs77 a kilogramme; date palm (aseel) for Rs125 to Rs131 a kilogramme; date palm (Iranian) for Rs157 to Rs163 a kilogramme; mud apple (chiku) for Rs77 to Rs81 a kilogramme; melons for Rs45 to Rs47 a kilogramme; mangoes (saharni) Rs77 to Rs81 a kilogramme; mangoes (anwar ratol) Rs114 to Rs120 a kilogramme; mangoes (langra) Rs44 to Rs46 a kilogramme; mangoes (dusehri) Rs100 to Rs106 a kilogramme; mangoes (Sindhri) Rs102 to Rs108 a kilogramme and second grade quality of Sindhri mangoes was available for Rs77 to Rs81 a kilogramme. Desi mangoes sold for Rs39 to Rs41 a kilogramme.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2016.