Rawalpindi - The rates of daily use items are increasing in Ramazan and profiteers are trying to gain maximum profits during the holy month so the citizens have urged the concerned authorities to take strict action against profiteers and hoarders.

The prices of essential commodities had already gone up before the start of Ramazan.Vegetables and fruits, all the basic commodities had witnessed 25 percent to 50 percent increase in their prices, burdening the already troubled common man. Traditionally fruits and vegetable prices at the advent of the Holy month of Ramazan went spiralling high by 50 to 100 percent. More than 25 daily commodities like sugar, rice, pulses, chicken, beef, mutton, vegetables and fruit prices have shot up in local markets.

According to the citizens, the shopkeepers had increased the prices of daily-use items on their own before the start of Ramazan as the authorities had failed to check profiteering. The price control system of city district government appears to have failed in controlling the prices even in Ramazan. Price lists issued by the local administration on Friday are not being implemented properly as shopkeepers are not following the prescribed rate lists on one pretext or the other.

Wholesalers and retailers, particularly of fruits and vegetables, are enjoying a free hand to exploit the consumers in the holy month despite of all the claims of the authorities. The price of sugar has also been raised by 2 to 3 rupees per kg in the open market as sugar is available at Rs 55 to 60 per kg. Dates are available from Rs 200 Rs to Rs 350 per kg, while chicken is being sold at around Rs 290-300 per kg. Basin is regularly used in Ramadan for making Pakoras for Iftar and its price is around Rs 140 to 170 a kilo.  Yogurt is being sold at Rs 110 to 120 while a litter of milk costs Rs 100 to Rs 110. Tomatoes are being sold at Rs 30 per kg. Potato at Rs 20 to 30. Onion at Rs 30 to 40. Lemon at Rs 300 to 350 per kg. Wheat flour at Rs 800 to 830 for a 20 kg bag while ‘Chaki’ wheat flour is available at Rs 60 per kg.

Even at Sunday bazaars the prices of vegetables and fruits continue their upward spiral in Ramazan. A similar increase has been seen in the prices of kitchen items which are increasing for the last three weeks. The consumers complained that Sasta Bazaars could only be useful if prices were checked by the administration and stern action would be taken against the profiteers. “A price increase before the holy month of Ramazan has become a hallmark in our society,” said Tahir, a customer at the bazaar. He said prices were increasing since the last three weeks with no one to control them, “Hoarders were active and the city and provincial administration appear helpless before them.”

According to city government, all the shopkeepers have been directed to display price lists at prominent places otherwise stern action in accordance with the law will be taken against the violators.

The butchers have refused to accept the new prices of mutton and beef. They claimed that the prices were fixed without consulting them.