LAHORE - Profiteers on Sunday looted buyers by selling fruit and vegetables on inflated prices in the local markets.

Despite heavy government machinery and 108 price control magistrates present in the field, overcharging in the city remained uncontrolled.

On Sunday, potato was sold at Rs40 to Rs50 per kg in the open market against the fixed price of Rs17, onion was sold at Rs60 against the fixed price of Rs35 in the open market, banana was sold at Rs180 to Rs200 in the open market against the fixed price of Rs 124 and lemon was sold at Rs300 against the fixed price of Rs237.

Garlic price was fixed at Rs195to Rs201 per kg and it was sold at Rs250 per kg. Ladyfinger’s official price was fixed at Rs40 to Rs44 per kg but it was available in the open market at Rs60 to 70 per kg. Apricot rate was fixed at Rs150 to Rs156 per kg and it was sold at Rs200 per kg in local market. Falsa (Grewia asiatica) price was fixed at Rs200 to Rs206 but was available in open market at Rs250 per kg.

On the other hand, Ramazan bazaars, which have been converted into Eid bazaars, are providing citizens a sigh of relief. Bangles, clothes and mehndi designs are available at these Eid bazaars. In the last ten days of holy month of Ramazan, citizens finally able to get 2kg sugar on subsidized rate from the Agri fair Price Shops in Ramazan Bazaars.

Across the province, 309 Ramazan bazaars have been converted into the Eid bazaars and around 2,000 Ramazan Dastar Khawans are being arranged for faithful.

1,057 price control magistrate have been appointed to monitor Ramazan bazaars.

Punjab government is providing subsidized vegetables including potato at Rs12 per kilogram, onion for Rs23 per kg, sugar for Rs 55 per kg, 10 kg flour bag for Rs 290, dates for Rs 150 per kg.

Due to wrong price fixation mechanism two kinds of rates in Ramazan bazaars remained throughout the month. Punjab government announced subsidy only on Agricultural fair price shops while at the same time, allowed the private vendors to set up their stalls on which there is no check and balance on price control. 

Furqan, a resident of Wahdat Colony said that he urged Punjab government to devise a better price fixation mechanism in next year Ramazan so that open market and Ramazan bazaars would provide equal relief to citizens.

Another buyer at Wahdat Colony Model Ramazan Bazaar said that, government’s writ must be seen in local markets as well where shopkeepers not bother to sell their items on official rate lists.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Headquarters Aamir Shafiq visited Thokhar Niaz Beg Ramazan bazaar and inquired about the items quality.