Price control committees absent as inflation wreaks havoc

ICT administration seems to be in a deep slumber as profiteers reign supreme

Zulfiqar Baig April 05, 2023


The double-digit inflation has taken no prisoners, evidenced by the stampedes for the free flour drive across the country; and the situation is not any different in the federal capital, rather it is further exacerbated by the absence of price control committees.

As consumer price inflation jumped to 35.37 per cent, the woes of Islamabad’s populace, already battered by high commodity rates, will only increase during what is left of the Holy Month of Ramazan.

Moreover, since price control committees are non-functional in the capital city, residents are finding it hard to afford groceries. “Making a proper meal for Suhoor and Iftar has become impossible,” complained a local, Nadeem Mir, further adding that the present government had no interest in helping the common man.

Adding on to Mir’s complaint, another local, Naveed Ahmed, said that not only had eating out become a pipe dream this Ramzan but even a home cooked meal had started burning a hole through his pockets.

Asma Malik, a long-term resident of Islamabad, can relate to Ahmed’s predicament. “Every time I step out to get something, the prices have increased two-fold,” Malik lamented, “for someone who barely makes minimum wage, this Ramazan is incredibly tough and no one seems to care. Everything essential like milk, oil, and yoghurt is slowly becoming out of reach.” Malik further said that retailers were charging whatever rates they wished for as the district administration was yet to wake up from its slumber.

While Malik held the district administration responsible for failing to take action against profiteers, Sharjeel, a resident of the city, told the Express Tribune that the incumbent government was to blame. “Ever since this government has come to power, everything from electricity to fuel has become costly,” criticised Sharjeel.

Another resident, Raheel, concurring with Sharjeel, was of the view that he could not even imagine how tough life was for the unemployed and daily wage labourers, if the salaried class was struggling as much as it is. “Someone needs to wake up to the plight of the people and improve the economic situation,” he implored.

When asked about the absence of price control committees, which was adding to the plight of the populace of the federal capital, a Spokesperson of the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration, replied that high inflation levels were a reality that the Administration was working to address. “We are working on making price control committees more functional to put an end to profiteering,” the Spokesperson told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2023.


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