While some traders in Azad Jammu and Kashmir are benefiting from the rising demand for essential commodities during the month of Ramazan, others complained that the unfairly high rates set by pricing control committees have forced them to stop selling.
“From the first day of Ramadan, meat, fruits and vegetables sales have increased. There is also a healthy demand for Fast Moving Consumer Goods,” local trader Shaukat Nawaz said while speaking to The Express Tribune.
Sales in general have increased by 30 to 40 per cent but traders who offer special discounts have witnessed a 50 to 60 per cent daily rise.
Butchers in Mutton Market said that mutton consumption has also increased as most residents preferred to increase their protein intake during Sehri and Iftar times. The demand for mutton is reported to be worth around Rs5 to 10 lakh a day.
Other traders, who have not been so lucky, claimed that price control committees had failed to address their complaints regarding price hikes.
The committees have not been able to control the prices of essential goods in Muzaffarabad Kotli, Mirpur and Rawalkot, they said.
Traders from Dhirkot, in Bagh district have refused to sell their goods due to the unfairly high rates. “When we buy an item at Rs100, how we can sell the same item for Rs90?” they said.
“If the government has our interests at heart, it should reduce the price of diesel to help bring down the price of essential goods, said Rahim Khan, a local trader. “Transportation is the main reason for the price hike.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.