Fruit, vegetable and meat sellers in Sukkur are being allowed to overcharge from Rs10 to Rs20 per kilogramme on commodities under the condition that these shopkeepers will give a commission to the market committee staff in Ramazan.
The shopkeepers are expected to pay Rs200 while mobile vendors have to pay Rs100. A mobile fruit seller, Mohammad Mushtaq, told The Express Tribune that the market committee has fixed the rate of fruits higher than it was before Ramazan and this way both parties can make profits. “Corruption is everywhere, we are doubling our profit by paying a small amount to the market committee people,” he said.
The rate of high quality banana has been fixed at Rs70 a dozen, while before Ramazan it was being sold for Rs50. The fruit seller explained that while they are not obliged to pay daily commission to the committee staff, they do have to pay off the traffic police. “If we refuse the traffic wardens, then we will not be allowed to stand at our favourite spots. There are hundreds of mobile fruit vendors in the city and we all depend upon the traffic police officials,” said Mushtaq. He explained that the wardens and committee staff collect money and many kilogrammes of fruit from the vendors throughout the day. They take a small amount of fruit from every mobile vendor and thus collect a huge amount fruit by the end of the day. “Everyone here is busy in looting and plundering and so we equal our score by looting the consumers,” he said with a cunning smile.
The secretary of Sukkur’s market committee, Nisar Ahmed Odho, claimed that the market committee staff is not corrupt and rates are fixed on a daily basis according to the auction rate in the wholesale market. According to him, the retailers are allowed a 15 per cent profit on the fruit and vegetable. He said that the rate of beef with bones has been at Rs240 per kilogramme, boneless beef is being sold at Rs280 per kilogramme and the rate of mutton is fixed at Rs440 per kilogramme. The price of mutton has not fallen in Ramazan despite claims that it would.
The deputy commissioner of Sukkur, Sumair Syed, told The Express Tribune that he was currently in Karachi and would look into the matter shortly.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ