SUKKUR: If you’re living in Sukkur this Ramazan, be prepared to pay Rs150 per kilogramme (kg) for apples as prices have gone significantly up for the holy month.
The same amount of apples were being sold for only Rs80 on Tuesday while the price of bananas has been raised from Rs70 for a dozen to Rs120. The price of tomatoes has been going up for the past 10 days - the final price being Rs100 per kg on Wednesday. Nearly all other fruits and vegetables have seen a rise in prices of up to 80 per cent.
Another essential item during Ramazan - dates - now cost twice as much. Depending on the quality, a box of dates was priced at up to Rs250 per kg. Some vendors had even sprayed oil mixed with water on their stock to make the dates look shinier than usual.
As dates become older, they lose their shine, admitted a date vendor, who requested not to be named. Good quality dates don’t need this treatment but unfortunately people prefer shiny dates and waste their money on them, he added.
Some of the vendors blamed the officials of fixing prices of daily use items after consulting wholesalers. They get their palms greased for this, they said. Meanwhile, Sukkur market committee secretary Nisar Odho said that the prices were decided at a meeting with the deputy commissioner on Monday. According to him, the prices of vegetables are fixed on a daily basis. The retailers are allowed 15 per cent profit on the prices fixed at the wholesale market, he explained, denying they accept bribes from wholesalers to fix prices according to their own wishes.
Sukkur additional deputy commissioner Suhail Baloch also said that the prices have been fixed by the committee, which met under the chairmanship of the deputy commissioner. The committees have been formed to keep an eye on the prices so that those who violate the price list will be slapped fines on the spot, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.
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