KARACHI - The city administration has failed to control hike in prices of essential commodities as the profiteers have a free hand in Ramazan despite many claims of the administration.

People have been forced to buy fruits, vegetables and other items from the market on high prices despite of monitoring teams led by deputy commissioners of all districts. Besides overcharging, the quality of products was another major problem faced by the consumers but the authorities turned a deaf ear to the issue.

Although the commissioner Karachi Ejaz Ahmed Khan had directed his subordinates to conduct raids in the market to ensure that essential commodities are sold on administration-fixed prices but the prices are much higher than the government’s rate.

The people complained the hike in prices in open markets as well as other stores, saying that nobody is following the rates set by the administration. A citizen said that in the holy month of Ramazan the vendors have increased the prices instead of slashing the same. “In other countries, the people get relief on the eve of their holy festivals but here the opportunists see Ramazan as the month to get more and more profit. They (the profiteers) are overcharging as they know we have to purchase even at high prices so as to prepare Sehr and Iftar,”

Despite all the reservations of the citizens, the commissioner insisted that the administration was taking steps to ensure that all vendors are following their prices. The spokesperson said that so far the action was taken against 503 profiteers, who were selling fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, Khajla Pheni and other essential commodities on high prices.

He claimed that four profiteers were jailed so far whereas the fine Rs 587,000 have been imposed. He said that the campaign was initiated so to give most benefit to the people in Ramazan by taking all-out measures. The deputy commissioners of all districts were directed by the city commissioner to take action against the profiteers within their respective jurisdiction to ensure that the consumers get commodities on government’s rate.

Ejaz ordered all the vendors to display price list in a manner that it can be seen properly at their shops or pushcarts and appealed the people to purchase the items after seeing the list. “If the people have any complaint against a shopkeeper, they can approach the administration on complaint number 1299. Concerned officers will surely take action against the violating vendors,”