LAHORE

Ghee dealers’ mafia continued to remain active, as they have gone for hoarding, causing short supply of ghee and as well as cooking oil in open markets as well as Sunday bazaars.

The major ghee and cooking oil brands of multinational companies including Unilever, Habib, Kisan, Talu and Soofi etc were disappeared not only from almost all Sunday Bazaars but also from open market.

Apparently, the owners of ghee producing factories had accepted the govt decision to decrease the price wholeheartedly. According to sources, if government does not take factory owners into confidence, the market might face shortage of ghee in a similar fashion as petrol did some two months back, retailers said.

The visitors of Sunday bazaars lauded Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for reduction in prices of ghee and cooking oil, terming it a great move which will benefit majority of the population. Other provinces should also follow Punjab and provide relief to masses, they said. The prices of edible oil reduced by Rs 15 per kg in Punjab therefore its price must be reduced by Rs 20 in Sindh as units located there saves transportation and other costs.

They said that profiteers are exploiters and public enemies who increase prices within hours if price of any input is increased while refuse to transfer benefit to masses if input costs go down, which is a reason behind inflation.

They said that fine of one hundred thousand rupees on ghee units for violating Punjab government orders may not deter many bloodsuckers.

In open market, only substandard and unregistered ghee brand were available also with short supply. Shopkeepers were complaining of wholesale dealers and ghee millers who have stopped the supply.

The dealers’ mafia has beaten the government to pass on benefit of cut in raw material prices to consumers in Lahore along with other cities of the province. The hoarders in the wholesale market have cut off the supply of vegetable oil leading to its scarcity in all markets and bazaars.

Meanwhile, the prices of vegetables and fruits decreased at Sunday bazaars and prices of almost all vegetables including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, ginger and garlic reduced. In fruits, the prices of apples, guava and bananas decreased.

The price of potatoes decreased and it was sold at Rs17 per kg. The prices of tomatoes increased and they were sold at Rs40 per kg. The prices of onions were stable and they were available at Rs23 per kg. The prices of ginger remained Rs170 per kg with a decrease of Rs5 per kg while the prices of garlic reduced by Rs10 per kg and it was sold at Rs140 per kg.