LAHORE - The customers saw no relief in Sunday bazaars, as prices of vegetables in these makeshift cheaper markets registered an upward trend after a pause of few weeks, with profiteers starting hoarding ahead of Ramazan. The rates of vegetable particularly of onion, tomato , pease, ladyfinger, cucumber, bitter guard, brinjal and cauliflower have once again started to go up not only in Sunday Bazaars but also in open market.
During a visit, it was observed the raise in the prices of almost all vegetables except potatoes available in Wahdat Colony, Iqbal Town and Islampura Sunday bazaars.
Market sources said that most of the cities of central Punjab depend on veggies supply especially of onion, tomato , ladyfinger, brinjal and bitter guard from Sindh or from India to meet the local requirement as harvesting of local crop starts usually at the end of May. So, delay in import of onion from India along with the arrival of Ramazan will further lift its rates in market of provincial capital.
According to a market survey, price of tomato has jumped by more than 200 per cent in few days crossing the figure of Rs80 per kg in open market while no tomato stall was seen in majority of Sunday bazaars. Last week, tomato was available at Rs20-30 per kg in open market but its price jumped to Rs80 per kg raised the question mark on performance of market committee and other government agencies responsible for controlling inflation and hoarding. Only rotten and substandard onion from Sindh was being supplied to the market as hoarders are storing it to make money during the month of Ramazan when its consumption increases manifolds.
In Sunday bazaars of the city, tomato was not available while limited quantity was also seen in the open markets. It is expected that tomato price will again come down in a couple of days but there are least chances in decline of onion rates. The price of onion will decrease on start of domestic production of Punjab, also improving quality of available onion in the market.
According to market survey, capsicum was available for Rs40 per kg, pumpkin at Rs50 per kg, luffa at Rs60 per kg, but sold at Rs70 per kg. Ladyfinger rate in Sunday bazaars was fixed at Rs82 per kg but sold at Rs100 per kg while arum price was fixed at Rs80 per kg but sold at higher rate of Rs100 per kg.
Peas were sold at Rs100 per kg, registering an overcharging of Rs18 per kg while cauliflower rate was fixed at Rs26 per kg but it was not sold there. Cabbage official rate was fixed at Rs16 per kg but was available in limited quantity at Rs30 per kg. Green chilli rate was fixed at Rs60 per kg but it was sold at higher rate of Rs80 per kg. In the same way, bitter guard was selling at Rs70 per kg both in Sunday bazaars and in open market.
Market committee officials said that Sunday weekly bazaars are important source of availability of quality food items at the prices lesser than open markets. Market committee has always tried to facilitate the visitors at weekly bazaars by offering them controlled prices. They further claimed that despite severe inflationary trend in the open market, the govt has managed to provide some relief to residents by offering them quality food items at Sunday bazaars at comparatively low prices.
However, the visitors at bazaars expressed the dissatisfaction not only on quality but also on prices of the foodstuff.