QUETTA: With the arrival of the holy month of Ramazan, dates prices have increased across Balochistan with the fruit available in the market at Rs400 per kilogramme.
Local dates vendors increased the price of an essential fruit with its increased demand in the month and cited the closure of Pak-Iran border a major reason for the price hike.
Last year, Iranian and local dates were being sold in the market for Rs200 per kilogramme. However, the vendors doubled the price of the fruit due to the closure of the border in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Besides, the district administration did not take any action against the hike of dates price in the provincial capital and other parts of Balochistan.
Meanwhile, the provincial government has announced it will restore trading of dates during the holy month Ramazan.
Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said the stock of dates stranded at Pak-Iran border would be released for the provincial markets.
Demand for action
Jamat-e-Islami Provincial Ameer Abdul Haq Hashmi demanded of the Balochistan government to take action against profiteers selling expensive food items during the holy month of Ramazan.
“The provincial price control committee doesn’t regulate and maintain check and balance during Ramazan. The government inaction has made vendors fearless of any consequences of the price hike,” said Hashmi in a statement issued on Saturday.
Hashmi reminded the provincial government of the claims of provision of relief to poor people during the lockdown in Ramazan. “Balochistan government announcements are a show off on media because on ground circumstances for daily-wage earners and poor families have turned from bad to worse.”
The JI provincial ameer maintained the illegal profits emptying the pockets of people during the holy month would be an additional burden on the oppressed people who are already suffering due to the lockdown restrictions.
He slammed the federal government over unannounced electricity and water crisis due to power failure in the provincial capital during Ramazan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2020.
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