PESHAWAR: The prices of essential food items have been raised in Peshawar despite the promise of the administration that there will be no price hike during the month of Ramazan.
Unlike in the past, this year the administration has not established special markets to sell food items at subsidised rates. According to District Nazim Peshawar Muhammad Asim “There is no need of such subsidised markets as all the markets in the city will be turned into Sasta bazaar.”
He added that the city administration has set up complaint cell in order to identify the cases of adulteration, hoarding and increase in prices.
In markets and bazaars, the dealings between shopkeepers and customers often result in scuffles. The customers accused the traders of fleecing them during the month of Ramazan. “For poor people, it is very difficult to buy essential food items due to high prices,” said one of the customers.
“There is a need to make proper strategy before the month of Ramazan to keep prices stable.” said Abdul Wahab, a vegetable trader in Hashtnagri. He said that he has been trading in these markets for the past several years and every Ramazan the prices of grocery items go up.
He said that even if the subsidised markets were established, the government is not in a position to ensure availability of all essential goods there. He added that the supply is sufficient enough for prices to remain stable but due to an increase in demand during the holy month traders tend to create artificial shortages and raise the prices.
“Business is flourishing like every year, despite high prices,” said Anwar, a fruit dealer. He added that the main problem is that nearly all the fruits come from other parts of the country; they know that there is a high demand. “We cannot sell it at reduced prices when we buy it on such high prices.”