ISLAMABAD: In what appeared to be the first visit of its kind since taking office, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sunday paid surprise visits to two commercial centres of Islamabad to check the prices of commodities being sold there.
The premier, who usually spends his weekend in Raiwind, spent around 40 minutes in Aabpara market and then at G-10 Markaz. Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) MNA from the federal capital, accompanied him along with some security officials.
Prime minister on the occasion interacted with the people and inquired about the prices of items of daily use, including fruits and vegetables.
Though majority of the people got overwhelmed after seeing the prime minister standing among them without the usual, multi-layered security and took pictures on their mobile phones; a few of them of pointed out that prices of all the commodities did not fall.
“The prices of clothes/garments have gone up,” said a lady who had recently retired from the KRL while talking to the PM at G-10 Markaz.
A government employee told the premier that transporters in Islamabad had not passed on the relief to commuters after a reduction in prices of petroleum products.
“Your efforts are going in vain,”he said.
The prime minister assured to take notice of this situation.
He also inquired from the vendors about the prices of vegetables and fruits, which they said had decreased.
Addressing on the occasion, the premier said he had come to see the impact of government’s public-friendly measures, i.e. fall in POL prices.
“It is heartening to know that prices of commodities have come down,” he added.
He further said that his government is working hard to address multifaceted issues faced by the country, including energy shortage, unemployment, etc.
“Gas shortage would end in the next two years,” Nawaz committed while saying that the issue of electricity shortage would also be addressed during his government’s term.
He also issued instructions to Dr Chaudhry to address the issues such as sewerage when a trader invited attention towards the dilapidated situation of the market including footpaths.
“We are working to improve the infrastructure of Islamabad,” he added.
The people present there highly appreciated the visits, and lauded the government’s decision of bringing down petroleum product prices.
Prices have fallen
Addressing the gathering, a shopkeeper said potatoes were being sold at Rs30 per kilo against Rs80 two months back. Likewise, the price of onions now stood at Rs30; tomatoes are being sold at Rs70; carrot at Rs30 whereas cauliflower is available at Rs25 per kg, added the vendor.