BAHAWALPUR-With the beginning of Ramazan, prices of daily-use items have skyrocketed, mocking the government and administration claims regarding subsidy on foodstuffs.

A survey conducted by this correspondent reveals that prices of fruits in the markets of Bahawalpur are beyond the reach of the common man. Banana is being sold at Rs200 to 230 per dozen while before Ramazan, it was sold at Rs80 per dozen. Apple is being sold at Rs300 to Rs350 per kg while plums, peach, apricots and pomegranate are being sold at Rs200 to 250 per kilogram.

The government and administration’s claims of providing products at subsidised prices have been proved false as vegetables, along fruits, are also being sold at high rates. Other staple foods including sugar, rice, meat and flour, however, are being sold at old rates. The administration had fixed the price of yogurt Rs70 per kg but it is being sold at Rs80-100.

Moreover, hoarders have created artificial shortage of foodstuffs and started looting the poor with both hands but the administration has turned a blind eye to the grave situation.

Officials of the administration visit markets and Ramazan Bazaars for photo session. Price Control Magistrates do not leave their air-conditioned rooms to keep the prices controlled in the market. Even in Ramazan Bazaars, products are sold at beyond the officially-fixed prices.

Supply of clean drinking water from Water Filtration Plants has been suspended across Bahawalpur as filters of these plants are not changed timely. As a result, people are forced to drink polluted water. The filtration plant of Model Town Block-C has also been lying out of order for the last many days. Similar situation is found at other filtration plants. People demanded the administration to ensure relief to the public as they were promised.

When informed, Deputy Commissioner Rana Saleem Afzal ordered the officials concerned to utilise all available resources to facilitate the public and punish the profiteers.

JI dubs provincial

budget anti-poor

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Dr Syed Wasim Akhtar dubbed Rs1,970 worth provincial budget anti-poor and declared it similar to the federal budget.

During a media talk here, he said the budget has disappointed the people of remote areas of South Punjab who have totally been neglected in funds’ allocation. He said the government has allocated Rs635 billion for infrastructure, Rs120 billion for Interior Department and Rs96 billion for Orange Line Train while the education, health and agriculture departments have been neglected. He said the government is interested to build roads and bridges only while the education and health have never been amongst it’s priorities. Similarly, the government has never performed something extraordinary for the Agriculture Department which, he said, is the backbone of the national economy.