According to The Nation of 07/9/08, fourteen price-monitoring teams constituted by the district administration have imposed a fine of Rs.160, 000 on 261 profiteers of Islamabad city and the adjoining rural areas. This sum may increase government revenue but cannot be instrumental in reduction of prices or in providing of any relief to common man. The profiteers find it easy and convenient to deposit the fine than to desist from immoral activity of overcharging. To make up for their loss, the merchant can easily shift the burden to their new customers. Instead of cash penalty, a physical sentence like incarceration can achieve better results. The business community is organized and can get advance information of impending raids by the vigilance teams. During the visit of monitoring teams, the shopkeepers either close their shops or slow down their business activities on one pretext or other and resume work after the team has left the market. The infliction of fine is tantamount to "scotching the snake but not killing it". The government is requested to authorize the magistrates heading these teams to arrest the culprits and give them physical punishment to prevent them from charging exorbitant rates from their customers. The teams may also be directed to catch big fish in the market rather than apprehending small retailers. -RAJA SHAFAATULLAH, Islamabad, via e-mail, September 8.