LAHORE - Greengrocers, shopkeepers and traders have priced up all the daily use commodities in violation of the rate lists issued by price control committee of City District Government during Ramazan-ul-Mubarik and started fleecing consumers, a survey conducted by The Nation revealed on Wednesday. The authorities concerned of CDG have failed to overcome the situation and control the trend of rapidly increasing prices of vegetables and fruits in general and cooking oil, ghee, sugar, flour and pulses in particular with the beginning of Ramazan. Moreover, the hoarders have stocked a number of products in order to create artificial shortage of daily use commodities for fleecing the citizens and minting money. As a result of unlawful activities of hoarding, most of daily use items have disappeared from the open markets in the beginning of the holy month, which is causing massive nuisance for the consumers particularly the poor. However, the rates of available products in the City markets are skyrocketing, going beyond the reach of the poor masses, who already have poor purchasing power. Despite availability of some products in the market in abundance, the shopkeepers are selling these commodities according to their own rates and this unlawful activity on part of the trader community is unchecked by the authorities concerned. In this regard, people complained that the greengrocers, shopkeepers and retailers are getting huge margins on almost all the products including tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, green chilli and potatoes in vegetables and mango, banana, grapes, apple, peach and other items in fruits and are charging almost double of their original prices of some daily use commodities particularly of different spices. They further complained that sugar is available only in black marketing and the shopkeepers are charging Rs15 to Rs30 per kg against the wholesale rate of Rs69.20 and ex-mill rate of Rs68 per kg. However, they said that government has fixed rate of sugar at Rs61 per kg for the Sasta Ramazan Bazaars while the stallholders of such bazaars are charging Rs72 per kg in violation of the CDG authorities. They said CDG authorities although have announced that such bazaars have been set up on 'no profit no loss basis with issuing instructions that price control committees would ensure strict monitoring of prices of all daily use products including vegetables, fruits, pulses, flour, sugar and ghee but the stallholders are openly violating the instructions and are selling all the commodities on open market rates. Muhammad Asif, a resident of Mazang said prices of vegetables and fruits besides spices suddenly increased due to holy month of Ramazan and he was astonished to see the prices of all the daily use products when he went to wholesale markets for buying different items for Ramazan. He said prices of different spices and vegetables were increasing which made him disappointed and he returned home without purchasing any item. Intezar Hussain, a resident of Garhi Shahu said he purchased onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes on Rs60, 150, 160, 140 respectively from a wholesale market, while the rates of such commodities were high in the area market as compare to the wholesale market. He said such products were available on nominal rates a couple of days ago while the retailers priced up these products on the arrival of Ramazan. On the other hand, the retailers were of the view that although hoarders stocked various items including sugar, pulses and spices, which caused price-hiking but major reason of increasing prices of vegetables and fruits is disaster like situation due to flood in the country which damaged various crops particularly vegetables and fruit gardens. Adul Khaliq, a retailer said the growers of some other areas also failed to approach the major cities of the country due to blockage of almost all the major roads which also caused jam to transportation process with stopping supply of vegetables and fruits in the markets, which further caused shortage of such items and resultantly traders compelled to increase prices of these commodities. Asghar Butt, president of a wholesale market union of the City said there is no shortage of sugar and spices in the market. He said reason behind price-hike in the country is that government increased prices of such products.