RAWALPINDI - Shopkeepers and traders are not following the government rate lists and selling food items at high rates at in newly-setup Ramazan Sasta Bazaar while the concerned officials have become silent spectators and no relief is available for poor and helpless consumers.
Like others parts of the city, Punjab government along with Rawalpindi cantonment board have established a new Sasta bazaar at Chungi number 22 to provide fruits, vegetables and other basic need items at subsidised rates to people during the holy month of Ramazan, however, people from different walks of life complained against quantity, quality and increased prices at the Sasta bazaar.
A survey, conducted by The Nation on Monday, in Ramazan Sasta Bazaar Chungi number 22, revealed that the shopkeepers had not displayed the government rate lists at some visible places and were selling food items at exorbitant rates. Moreover, there was no special price magistrate present in the bazaar who could hold the hands of looters from fleecing the poor public.
Amraiz Ahmed, a resident of Tench Bhatta, said that he came to bazaar to buy grapes for Iftari but he was astonished after hearing the price of the commodity. He said that the shopkeepers were not selling the commodity according to the rates fixed by district government. Sherbano Bibi, a resident of the area, complained that apples were being sold at very high rates despite of the fact that the government ordered the vendors and stall holders to follow its rates.
She also said that political administration has closed its eyes towards the looting spree in Sasta bazaar and termed it joke with the people of the area. She suggested that fruits and vegetables with different varieties should be made available in these markets with foods and other essential commodities for customers with reasonable prices.
When approached, the shopkeepers and vendors blamed wholesalers for the rise in prices, claiming they sell fruits and vegetables at inflated rates, and with the addition of transportation costs, the vendors would suffer losses if they follow the government price lists.  PML-N MNA Malik Abrar Ahmed, who is the in-charge of the affairs of Ramazan Sasta Bazaar Chungi number 22, could not be approached for his comments.