LAKKI MARWAT - Prices of fruits and vegetables have shot up in Lakki

city and other towns of the district as the lockdown

was extended by the government.

During a visit to several shops, this correspondent

learnt that prices of vegetables had gone beyond the

purchasing limit of citizens. Vegetables like lady finger (okra) and bitter gourd were available at Rs 160

per kg while prices of peas, onion and potatoes were

high. The prices of fruits were also unaffordable for

citizens.

The local administration with the help of food department and fruit and vegetable sellers’ union fix

the prices of commodities on daily basis. The official

price list of vegetables and fruits jointly signed by

district food controller and union’s president is provided to the sellers with directions to implement it in

letter and spirit.

Prices of quality items and low quality items are

separately fixed in the official price list. The officials

of district administration and food department regularly visit outlets of vegetable and fruit sellers to implement the government rate list.

“The shops of fruit and vegetable sellers are exempted from lockdown and it has helped availability

of commodities in abundance in the market”, claimed

a resident.

He said that exorbitant prices of vegetables, fruits

and other essential commodities had added to the

troubles of people.

“Along with continuous lockdown which has badly

affected local residents and low income class the sky

rocketing prices of vegetables and fruits are like to

sprinkle salt on their burns”, said another citizen. He

said that the incumbent government had badly failed

to extend any relief to the lockdown affected people

who had been restricted to their homes.

Local fruit and vegetable sellers said that the commodities were available in abundance in the market

and that they implement the official pricelists in letter and spirit.

“We display official rate list at a prominent place in

our shops so that people could check the prices of commodities they intend to buy”, a vegetable vendor said.

Local residents asked the government to announce

a sufficient decrease in prices of fruits, vegetables

and other essential commodities.

Meanwhile, the local chapter of fruit and vegetable

commission agents’ union has asked the district administration to review and relax the timing schedule

for fruit and vegetable vendors of Lakki city during

the lockdown.

The union’s president Haji Asmatullah Qasamkhel told local journalists here that fruit and vegetable sellers had to start business at 9 am and close it

at 5 pm as per strict directions of local administration. “There was no timing schedule for vendors at

the start of the lockdown enforced by government to

contain pandemic”, he maintained.

He said that fruit and vegetable sellers bought commodities in markets early in the morning and then they

sold those to people in their outlets the same day.