Ramazan price hike
Some traders say the price rise is due to disruptions in the supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic
Honesty is the best policy. However, believe, honesty is the best policy when there is money in it. With Ramazan only a few days away most parts of the country are witnessing a hike in the prices of essential commodities. Prices are likely to increase further therein in the holy month. This is a routine affair at this time of the year. People stalk up on food requirements for the holy month. Taking advantage of the situation, traders increase prices knowing that the law of demand doesn’t apply to foodstuff.
According to a report in this newspaper, traders have jacked up the prices of essential commodities and also of food items for which there is an increased demand in Ramzan, in Lahore and other urban areas of Punjab. Consumers say since most of the government’s machinery is busy in dealing with the coronavirus emergency disbursing financial aid and the annual wheat procurement programme, traders are exploiting the situation to their advantage. Some traders say the price rise is due to disruptions in the supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Though the government has exempted food industries from the lockdown, some such industries are running much below their production capacity because there is a slump in the demands of these food items.
Following public complaint of the price hike, the Lahore district administration is inspecting shops and sale points in the provincial capital. Those found violating the price control regulations have been fined. The administration has asked officials to take strict action against profiteers and hoarders. The provincial minister of industries and trade has held a meeting of the taskforce on price control at which availability of essential items during Ramazan and the mechanism for monitoring prices were revealed. The minister has promised that price stability will be maintained during the holy month, and warned the profiteers and hoarders will be strictly dealt with. Nobody expects much, however.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2020.
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