BAHAWALPUR: Customers continued to throng stalls of traditional accessories set up in various markets around the city, in anticipation of Eidul Fitr. The stalls that had remained open till 11 pm during the week, operated until the early hours of the morning.
Offering a range of accessories, including glass and metal bangles, jewellery and mehndi, almost all stalls offered a sitting place for those accompanying customers.
However, temporary Eid stalls and shops set up in different markets across Bahawalpur offered accessories at higher prices than usual.
The price of most accessories, including bangles skyrocketed as shopkeepers doubled the rates amid an increase in demand. As a result, women with lower incomes were deprived of one of the most quintessential items signifying Eid.
Meena Bangles, which used to be sold at Rs50 per dozen are now being sold at Rs70, while a set of four buttoned bangles sold at Rs250 are now being sold at Rs300.
Similarly, set of four bangles of silk thread was earlier sold at Rs90 and now it is being sold at Rs100. Shahzadi Bangles which were sold at Rs70 per dozen are now being sold at Rs80. In addition, the prices of other types of bangles have also increased as well.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Naureen, a resident of Chowk Bazaar, said that she has come to Shahi Bazaar to buy bangles for Eid. She added, “The prices have increased so it has become difficult to make a choice.”
“This is Eid but still we are forced to buy bangles at higher rates as all the shopkeepers have raised their prices,” she maintained.
Another resident Iqra said that there is no check and balance from the government and administration due to which every shopkeeper has increased the prices of their products.
“People are facing difficulties in shopping while those whose buying capacity is limited are unable to purchase most of the accessories,” she pointed out.
Similarly, a shopper Nabeela Rehman said the prices are definitely higher than last year but buyers have little choice. She said Eid celebrations are incomplete without bangles. She said she had been shopping at markets for years. However, this year she had noticed that prices had nearly doubled.
Meanwhile, Abdul Malik, who sells bangles at a stall in Rangeela Market said the business is doing well. Malik, who has working for more than four years, did not agree there had been a steep price hike. The prices depend on the designs and quality of the products, he stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2018.