KARACHI - Flood, heavy downpour in upcountry have skyrocketed prices of vegetables here in the metropolis, The Nation learnt.

The consumers called the argument baseless because most of the vegetable consumed in Karachi brought from the surrounding of the city and including those area where flood or rains still not affect the crops.

Entire markets of the city including Sunday or Bachat bazaar also witnessed high rates of vegetables. Most of the vegetables touched record price hike while the exorbitant increase specially hurt those who have not budget even to buy or eat a single egg on daily basis.

Capsicum, tomato, cucumber, onion, ladyfinger, brinjal, cauliflower, cabbage including garlic and ginger and many other are totally out of range as people spend their weekly budget for two or three days grocery. The retailers say that prices may further go up in coming days. Prices of tomato, onion and other vegetables have touched new height during last few days. They also said that floods in the country including Punjab, which swept roads, bridges and destroyed crops, had hit supply of vegetables.

Onion price also registered sharp increase in retail market of the city and the retailers blamed short supply of the commodity from upcountry and its hoarding for the sharp increase in its price. Apart from this, profiteers and hoarders have also become active to gain maximum benefit.

In this situation, the substandard vegetables mostly seen in the markets while the good quality vegetables have an extra rates which is almost doubled.

Beside all the tall claims by city administration no reforms can be seen in the markets to protect the consumers’ rights. Specially, the price list issued by the Commissioner Karachi on daily basis have a big difference compared to the existing price being charged by the vendors in local market, Zeshan Khan resident of Gulistan-i-Johar told The Nation.

Khuran Ahmad who visited the Gulshan Sunday Bazaar said, not a single vendor gives importance to the price list and bluntly ignored it, without any fear they claim that it is not possible at any cost to sell items as per price list issued by the price control committee.

On the other side a vendor known as Sien, claimed that the whole sellers, importers and exporters are the actual profiteers who take the advantage of different situations by hoarding or in other means but no one take action against them.

A vegetable-seller said that due to the prevailing hike in prices, the sale of vegetables has decreased sharply, as people are unable to buy them. He said many people visited the weekly bazaars but do not buy vegetables due to their high prices.

Vendors said that the supply of vegetables at present is short as crops are not so good due to floods throughout the country. The wholesalers do not seem to be in any hurry to release their stocks, maybe their holding capacity has increased which has led to the rise in prices, they added.

Kaukub Iqbal member price control committee said severally the price control team of Commissioner Karachi charged hundreds of profiteers but no results found in favour of price control.