KARACHI: The prices of vegetables and spices have witnessed a massive hike over the last one week. In the absence of an efficient and effective price control regime by the district administration, profiteering is on the rise in the city on Eidul Azha.
The city administration has failed to control this surge in prices by the wholesalers and retailers to implement the government’s price list.
The wholesalers have increased the prices of the most essential commodities used to prepare traditional Eid dishes. These commodities include tomatoes, green chillis, lemon, ginger, garlic and coriander, mint leaves and other items.
The price of tomatoes soared up to Rs80 per kilogramme while it is expected to rise till Rs100 per kg on Eid. A week before Eid, tomatoes were being sold at Rs40 to Rs50 per kg.
Meanwhile the prices of ginger and garlic, mandatory ingredients for a meaty Eid dish, have increased to Rs220 to Rs240 rupees per kg.
Whether one is preparing tikkas or kebabs, it is incomplete without lemon. Small and medium-sized lemons are being sold at Rs200 per kg while large-sized lemons are being sold at Rs240 to Rs280 per kg.
Coriander and mint, which add to the flavour and presentation of an Eid meal, are being sold at Rs20 per stack as compared to Rs10 on regular days. The quantity in each stack has also decreased.
The small green chillies of Malir are being sold at Rs160 per kg while large chillies are Rs30 per kg. The current price of chillies has increased by Rs20 per kg.
In order to help digest meat-rich foods, every home prepares a salad on Eid. Taking advantage of this, vegetable vendors are selling cucumbers at Rs60 per kg in small markets and localities while it is being sold for Rs80 per kg in posh neighbourhoods.
Salad leaves which are normally sold at Rs30 to Rs40 per quarter kg are being sold for Rs60 per quarter kg on Eid.
Surprisingly, the price of onions has remained stable with medium-sized onions costing Rs30 per kg, large onions Rs40 per kg and small onions Rs20 to Rs25 per kg.
The price of potatoes is Rs25 per kg. Despite the demand of green vegetables falling as compared to meat, cabbage, gourd, pumpkin and bitter gourd are being sold at Rs80 per kg while spinach is being sold at Rs40 to Rs50 per kg.
According to the vendors, the demand for vegetables and spices increases by four times on the occasion of Eid and simultaneously, the vehicles assigned to transport vegetables are utilised to transport sacrificial animals instead due to which a shortage of loading vehicles is faced.
Apart from lamenting the increase in rent taken by vehicle owners, the vendors also cited the closure of Sabzi Mandi during Eid as a reason for the increase in prices.