RAWALPINDI: Being an ex-serviceman, I prefer making purchases from the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) but do not feel encouraged when I compare the rates of fruits and vegetables being sold at the CSD with those being sold under the fixed rates of the market committees run by the Rawalpindi and Islamabad administrations.
Yesterday, my wife and I bought fruit and vegetables from the market at Octroi No 22, Rawalpindi Cantt. While passing in front of the main CSD near GHQ, we thought of buying some more fruits but found the rates much higher. For example, oranges were being sold in Rawalpindi at Rs50 per dozen, while the CSD was selling them at a rate of between Rs70-Rs150 per dozen. The same was the case with vegetables.
I have come to the conclusion that some items are sold directly under the CSD’s own supervisory/sales staff, whereas produce like fruit and vegetables, fish, crockery and cutlery etc. are outsourced to private vendors and hence, the high and ‘unregulated’ prices. Merely letting outsiders to sell expensive items defeats the sole purpose of the establishment of the CSD outlets.
Major (retd) Talaat Khurshid
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2014.