KARACHI - Prices of essential food items are on the rise. Even in Bachat or Sunday Bazars people have no choice to manage their available budget to buy grocery. Ultimately the most resigned consumers get rankled.

During visit to weekly Sunday bazaar at Gulistani-i-Johar, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, University Road, Malir Halt and other part of the city, under the banner of KMC or Cantonment Board, visitors didn’t find the price difference in these markets as compared to open markets. During survey conducted by The Nation, a visitor Mehmood Siddique told that main reason to come to Bachat Bazars is saving but it is just a thought because there is no price difference between open market and Bachat bazaars. Another visitor Junaid Qureshi told that mostly shopkeepers in this type of bazaars offered very low prices but on the other side they compromised on the quality of products.

This correspondent learnt that stallholders were overcharging and were not following the price list. It may be mention here that it is very difficult to get any standardised product on price given by the regulatory authorities. It’s not possible to sold quality product according to the price list, a trader added.  On the other side, majority from middle and upper classes mostly prefer newly super marts in different familiar parts of the city where usually public finds each and every thing under one roof.

The story of price spiralling this season may not be as straightforward as one would think. There seems to be reasons myriad as to why prices of some items, usually considered cheaper than others, are soaring to incredible levels. Vegetables are becoming a luxury item for many lower income groups, one of the most affected.

As compared to essentials like flour and pulses, there has been a tremendous hike in the case of green vegetables. For people with fixed incomes, price surges of essentials are a terrible burden to bear. A woman shopper said she had come to that bazaar in order to buy some kitchen items but she found no attraction in the bazaar, as the prices were same as in the open market.

The Enterprise & Investment Promotion Department of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has taken measures to bring the holding of weekly bachat bazaars in the city under the rules and regulations so that the recovery of revenue of the department could improve and the people could be saved for any inconvenience due to the holding of illegal bachat bazaars. There are more than 130 bachat bazaars routinely organised at different venues in city.

The prices of 33 commodities and services increased in March 2012 as compared to the preceding month while those of 13 fell and six remained unchanged, said Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).  The report said the commodities including pulses, fruit, rice and cooking oils etc. registered an average increase of 5 percent but prices of poultry products, some vegetables, kitchen fuels, spices and condiments were down 6 percent.

Meat items including beef and mutton each registered a 1percent increase in price while on the other hand those of all the observed poultry products decreased - chicken broiler live 7 percent, eggs 6 percent and chicken broiler meat 5 percent, the report said.