Islamabad - Citizens on Saturday urged the authorities concerned to pay surprise visits to control the prevailing phenomena of overcharging being observed in the markets of federal capital.

The public were of the view that government had taken productive steps by introducing the fixed and affordable rates for fruits but it is time to keep an eye on the profiteers who always look for an opportunity of fleecing the public.

According to them such visits of concerned officials in fruit and vegetable markets would help maintaining the prices of fruits and facilitate buyers in the holy month of Ramadan.

Muhammad Shafique, a resident of Sector G-13/4 said “Yesterday I had to pay Rs 280 just to buy one dozen of banana, which means I had paid Rs 140 extra just to buy one fruit.” He asked the price control committee members of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to check the prices of fruits which were sky rocketing despite tall claims of departments concerned.

He said that it was not possible for residents to go G-9 market, a 10 Kilometer away from G-13 and they had to buy fruits from local market where every shop keeper has its own rate list and everyone was misleading the buyers.          

Another buyer from the same market informed that shopkeepers had placed unauthorized rate lists which should be checked regularly by the officials of Islamabad Capital Territory and urged them to ensure that every shopkeeper in federal capital had actual price list placed for general public.   

 “I fully support the on-going social media drive to avoid buying high rates fruits, as these fruits were not in access of a layman. This campaign could be an eye opener for hoarders to avoid this immoral practice in the Holy Month of Ramadan and think of giving relief to poor people.”

When contacted an official of ICT, said that special committee has been formed to control the prices of edible items in the federal capital during this month. He said that teams have been regularly carrying out inspections in their assigned areas, punishing the violators. He added the campaign would continue during whole month.     He informed that the ICT administration had imposed fines amounting Rs 1,40,800 on shopkeepers for over charging the food items during its ongoing crackdown against hoarders.

The official said that as many as 20 price checking teams headed by the Magistrates checked 88 shops so far and took action against the 26 profiteers, adding, seven profiteers were also arrested on the spot for violation of Pure Food Ordinance.

He said that in some areas, the profiteers were found selling substandard food items besides complaints of displaying fake rate lists.

All such shopkeepers had been clearly directed to display rate list of food items and sell foods at fixed rate and strict action would be taken against them, he added.