RAWALPINDI: As Ramazan comes to a close, the 16 special Ramazan bazaars set up in Rawalpindi — where essential goods were sold at marked-down rates — will wind up on Monday (evening). However, some stalls will stay open until noon on Tuesday.
Subsequently, it is hoped that the artificial inflation in the open market comes to an end with prices of various essential commodities declining sharply.
The prices of different vegetables, which had soared in Ramazan have seen a massive decrease. Tomatoes, which were available for Rs30 per kilogramme (kg) are now being sold at Rs20. The price of lemons has come down to Rs150 per kg from a high of Rs400 per kg.
A host of other vegetables were also available in the open market for as low as Rs10-20 kg.
Shaver chicken is now available for Rs160 kg after being sold for around Rs200 per kg throughout the holy month. Shaver eggs were being sold in Rs73 per dozen.
According to a survey conducted by the Express Tribune of Eid bazaars in the city, it was discovered that the government’s attempts to provide relief to the masses by converting the special Ramazan bazaars — where discounted and subsidized prices —into Eid bazaars towards the end of the holy month had failed badly as vendors were not very keen to reinvest their earnings in makeshift Eid stalls.
It was also witnessed that some of the stalls that were set up decorated with Eid items such as henna, bangles, artificial jewellery and other accessories.
Despite the fact that such stalls attract a rush of women, these stalls did not appear to do the roaring business some of their counterparts do in other markets of the city.
Towards the end of Ramazan, the administration had also stopped keeping a stringent check and balance on the quality of products and commodities being supplied in the bazaars.
Most of the customers searching for essential items, such as sugar and flour had to return hopelessly to other markets after discovering empty stalls.
The public expressed serious displeasure at the government’s attitude and said that the government had to maintain a check and balance until the last day of Ramazan as they were still going to the bazaars to purchase essential, daily-use commodities.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2019.
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