Perveez Ahmad


The strenuous efforts made by the District Administration yielded positive results and brought down prices of vegetable, fruits, meat and other daily-use items considerably.

According to a survey conducted by this reporter here on Sunday, tomatoes which were being sold at 100 per Kg two weeks ago is now being sold at Rs40 per kg here in the district. Apart from this the price of all other vegetables as well as a meat and fruits have came down considerably. During interaction with people especially those who had come to Sunday bazaars, they gave the credited for the cut in the prices of vegetables to DCO Dr Arshad Ahmad and the whole district administration particularly Chiniot AC Mrs Shumila Manzoor whose kept continue the crackdown in market to curb profiteering and hoarding of daily-use items.

The public circles was of the view that the AC struggled to maintain cut in price of vegetables played a vital role while ample supplies also contributed to reduction in the prices. It has been learnt that the AC herself monitored auction of vegetable and fruits early in the morning and evening in vegetables and fruit market to check artificial hoarding and discourage profiteering.

Meanwhile talking to this scribe Hafiz Abu Bakkar, a wholesaler, said that the vegetable prices should be left to demand and supply mechanism. He said that though market committee and district administration supervised auction, the prices reduced mainly to vegetables harvesting and ample supplies. Another vegetables trader Haji Muhammad Riaz Khan told that the govt had better focused on cutting the prices of vegetable, fruit, meat, flour, pluses and other essentials. On the other hand, human rights activist Advocate Shaukat Ali Azad rejected the sellers reservations and called Pharia and retailers a mafia who always hijack vegetables rates. “Nobody can deny or overlook the strong role Pharia in dictating rates in auction in the wholesale markets,” he said.

Insiders have telling stories about the connivance of sellers (Commission Agent) with Pharias as the latter prices the vegetable through the sellers on cheaper rates as joint business. Later on, sell the vegetables to retailer and consumers at their own rates which are settled by all the Pharias in the Market. In this way Pharias, Commission Agent and retailers loot the farmer with both hands due to their monopoly in the vegetable market. The District Administration officers and market committees are of the view that we observe closely that Pharias has a role in dictating rates in auction in the vegetable markets.

Although the administration and market committee authority claimed that all was going well but the price fixing issue remained unresolved, forcing vendors to hoard vegetables whose price were wrongly fixed by the market committee. Most of the sellers in market said that they were forced to sells vegetable less then the purchase price, making them to suffer losses, adding that in this way they had to bear loss on daily basis.

In the city although shopkeeper and vendors of meat, vegetables and fruit displaying market committee rates but they are selling goods at own their rates. Mix price trend continued in the makeshift market and bazaar while majority of vegetable and other essentials declined in the market due to the open eyes of administration.