ISLAMABAD (Our Staff Reporter): -Islamabad Capital Territory Administration launched a campaign to keep check on prices of essential commodities ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ramzan will start in first week of May. The ICT Admin has mobilized its teams to carry out surprise visits of the city markets and ensure that the shopkeepers sell essential commodities at the controlled price. A day earlier, Additional Deputy Commissioner Bilawal Abro inspected various shops in different city markets and imposed heavy fines for violation of government notified rate lists.

According to the administration, several complaints were received on the ‘Pakistan Citizen Portal’ in this regard upon which they took action. The officials said that they would ensure that essential commodities are sold at the controlled price in the city. They have also asked the residents to report their complaints on ‘Pakistan Citizen Portal’ in case they find any violation of the notified rate lists.

The celebrations of the holy month of Ramadan are often accompanied by a rise in prices as families stock up to break the daily fast. The world over, during commemoration of any religious festivities, governments make it a point to facilitate the citizens by lowering the prices of essential commodities such as vegetables and fruits. But in Pakistan, every festival sees a significant hike in price of basic commodities. Prices of food items during Ramadan are hiked so much that middle class is unable to afford it at all. Though the government claims to reduce price of the commodities but there have had been no check and balance to see if the said prices are being observed. The only reduction in prices, if at all, the citizens witness are in luxurious items, such as clothes and appliances. It is high time the regulatory authorities took the long overdue measures.

Meanwhile, teams of ICT administration inspected food outlets in sector G-13 and F-10. Heavy fines were imposed and few shops were sealed. The violations included unvaccinated workers handling food without gloves, head gears and aprons, rotten vegetables, broken crockery and malfunctioning freezers for storage of meat, etc, according to the administration.