Peshawar - Prices of stationary items and uniforms have increased in the province, as reopening date of schools after lifting of lockdown approaches near.

Talking to The Nation, Rafiullah, proprietor of a stationery shop in the city, said that prices of stationery items had witnessed an increase of almost 20 percent.

“We bring the stationary from Lahore and suppliers have increased the prices. Almost 50 percent stationery in the market of KP comes from Punjab and as much is imported from China normally,” he added.

However, he said the prices of Chinese stationery items had increased more, compared to local items, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aftab Khan, a trader in the city, said that while the government authorities conducted raids on food shops and others, there was no-one to check the prices of stationery items. “The shopkeepers tell us that prices have been increased by the wholesale suppliers, but who knows if the local shops have increased it on their own,” he added.

Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Akbar Ayub Khan has said that as educational activities are resuming in near future, all students as well as teaching and non-teaching staff must wear facemasks.

Akbar Ayub Khan directed the officials of the education department to ensure water supply in all schools and also to have soap for washing children’s hands. He requested the parents not to send sick children to school and if any child was found sick in school or showed signs of corona, he would be sent home immediately and given rest.

The provincial minister said that anti-corona items could be procured from PTC fund, sports fund, and medical fund in schools.

He said the staff of the health department would go to schools and conduct tests on the teaching and non-teaching staff and boys and girls for which a formal declaration has been issued by the education department in view of government orders.