Rawalpindi-The hoarders and profiteers are on the loose in various parts of city amid lockdown and have jacked up prices of flour, sugar, tea, fruits, vegetables and other daily use items.

The district administration including special price magistrates seem to be in deep slumber over the looting spree launched by the profiteers and hoarders.

During a survey, conducted by The Nation on Tuesday, it was learnt that the shopkeepers are charging higher rates compared with the prices a couple of days ago. The consumers are being charged with Rs1,450 for a 25kg bag of flour whereas sugar is being sold at Rs85 to Rs90 per kg. Similarly, an increase in prices of tomato, potato, onion, coriander, ginger, garlic, vegetables, fruits and other grocery items was also witnessed.

The areas where the profiteers are involved in fleecing the consumers included Peshawar Road, ChuhurChowk, Allahabad, Misrial Road, Westridge, Chungi Number 22, TenchBhatta, BakraMandiChowk, Tulsa Road, TahliMohri, DheriChowk, Chakri Road, Zafar Plaza, Dhamial, Hayyal, Adiala Road, Mubarak Lane, Khuwaja Corporation, Chungi Number 20, Ali Town, Jarahi, Kehkashan Colony, Kalyal, Gulshanabad, Shahpur, Gorakhpur, Adiala Village and many other places.

“Prices of sugar, flour, fruits, vegetables and even poultry have been increased by the shopkeepers during lockdown imposed by the government for avoiding spread of Coronavirus,” said Jamil Khan, a government servant, while talking to The Nation.

He said the greedy shopkeepers are selling 25kg flour bag against Rs1,450 and 1kg sugar at Rs85 in area of ChuhurChowk, he said.

He demanded a raid on the markets by the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner against the profiteers.

MrsZulfirqar, a resident of Hayyal, told The Nation that a shortage of flour and other edibles has hit the area from Dhamial to Chungi Number 22. “Flour is not available anywhere due to which people are facing problems,” she said. She added the shopkeepers have hidden the flour bags and selling it in black. She asked DC to launch action against hoarders and profiteers. Another citizen Amir said that the shopkeepers are selling 20kg flour bag against Rs1,100 at Chakri Road and its suburbs.

Many other citizens complained that the shopkeepers are taking illegal advantage of lockdown imposed by Punjab government by increasing prices of daily use items. They said the government should depute special price magistrates for check and balanc e of price hike during lockdown. No official of district government was available for comments on the issue.