LAHORE - The prices of fruits, vegetables and other commodities continued to upward trend here in the open market on Wednesday as the government has failed to stabilize the prices despite launching crackdown on profiteers. The worst scarcity of wheat flour and sugar still persists in the Ramazan bazaars as long queues of needy-shoppers were witnessed around the flour-laden trucks in the special makeshift markets. Eyewitnesses said that shoppers also scuffled at various Ramazan bazaars during the sale of flour bags and sugar packets as both the commodities were in high demand. The market dealers said that they were facing worst sugar shortage, as the millers were still reluctant to restore sugar supply at the new fixed price of Rs 45 per-kg. No sugar truck arrived here in the Akbari Mandi, the main wholesale market, on Wednesday. The market is facing above 80 per cent shortage of sugar, Asghar Butt, President Lahore Sugar Dealers Association said when contacted. On the other hand, the vendors and shopkeepers continued fleecing the customers by selling B-grade fruits and vegetable at high prices. The shoppers complained that the vendors have resorted to overcharging and are selling low quality fruits and vegetables at high prices. The vendors in most parts of the City were charging Rs 10 to Rs 20 extra against the fixed price on each fruit and vegetable. Shoppers complained that most of the vendors did not display rate-lists, putting a question mark on the performance of the officials of City District Government and price control committees. According to the market dealers, chicken meat is being sold at Rs 180 to Rs 200 per-kg against its fixed price of Rs 170 while the price of mutton meat has jumped to Rs 350 per kg from Rs 320 against its fixed price of Rs 300. The price of onion has also swelled to Rs 45 per kg from Rs 40 per kg while A-grade onion is being sold at Rs 50 per-kg against its fixed price of Rs 30 per kg in the open market. Baisen price has swelled to Rs 60 per-kg from Rs 55 while in special bazaars adulterated Baisen was being sold at Rs 40 per-kg. Cooking oil is being sold at Rs 130 to Rs 135 per-liter, loose milk at Rs 45 per-kg to Rs 55 per-kg, Dehi at Rs 40 to Rs 50 per-kg. The price of tomato, potato and ladyfinger gained by Rs two on Wednesday and were being sold at Rs 50 to Rs 60 per kilogram in the open market, cauliflower at Rs 70 per kg, onion at Rs 45 per kg, guava at Rs 50 per kg from Rs 40, grapes at Rs 160 per kg, dates at Rs 120-180 per kg, apple at Rs 120 per kg, banana at Rs 50-60 per dozen, apricot at Rs 140-160 per kg, Peach at Rs 100 per kg and chicken at Rs 190 to Rs 200 per kg. Though the Ramazan Bazaars are attracting a large number of people throughout the day due to lesser price of essential commodities, absence of items in demand was disturbing the shoppers who have to go back empty hand. Despite escalating prices, dealers said, vegetables and fruits were in short supply at the Ramazan Bazaars and even in the open market on Wednesday while sugar and flour were not available at the special makeshift markets and utility outlets in most parts of the City. Market sources said that sugar also disappeared from the shops and stores in various parts of the City while it was being sold at Rs 52 to Rs 55 per-kg against its fixed retail price of Rs 47 at few shops in the open market. The government has set up special makeshift markets to provide food items to the people at affordable rates but the gap between the demand and supply is worsening the situation. The market dealers said that huge gap between the supply and demand is also pushing the prices of commodities upward. They also said that the panic buying of commodities like sugar, flour, meat and fruits on part of the consumers also is causing price-hike. However, the government officials imposed fine on hundreds of vendors for overcharging during raids in different parts of the City but the upward trend of commodities prices is still continued.