LAHORE - Almost all the hotels and restaurants in the City have revised the rates of Iftar dinners from 20 to 30 per cent, joining the fast race of profiteering and price-hike mafia in the holy month of Ramazan. Well-known chain of restaurants that always used to announce special discounts on Iftari and Iftar dinners have become part of the price-hike mafia by increasing Iftari packages. According to details, big hotels have been charging Rs500 to Rs550 for Iftari and Rs1000 to Rs1200 for Iftar dinner per head, while barbecue like Iftar is being charged Rs900 per head. While in medium size hotels, fasters have been paying Rs800, Rs700 and Rs650 and Rs450 per head depending upon the localities. The restaurants running their roaring business in posh areas including DHA, Gulberg, Garden Town, Liberty Market, The Mall, Cantonment and others areas have fixed rates of Iftar dinner from Rs400 to Rs800. The small sized hotels and restaurants situated at Lakshami Chowk, Abbot Road, Anarkali Food Street, Walled city vicinity, Sanda, Icchra, Ferozepur Road, Dharampura, Shadbagh, Ravi Road, Karim Park and others have sprung into action to fleece the fasters. They have increased rates of the Iftar packages from 10 to 20 per cent more than rates of last year. They have been charging Rs670 full mutton karahi, Rs670 full desi chicken karahi, Rs470 full chicken karahi, Rs730 full chicken karahi in deshi ghee and Rs730 full mutton karahi in desi ghee. The owner of chain of restaurant told this scribe that they wanted to offer discount to people in Ramazan but failed to do so owing to phenomenal increase in the prices of meat, masalas, and different kind of taxes by the government. A manager of hotel said, we are forced to follow the inflation for the sake of our survival. How it could be possible that rates of Iftar dinners are made economical against surge in prices of every essential item, he asked. He revealed that high rates did not affect wealthy people. And its ample proof could be witnessed with this fact that a large number of people had been enjoying Iftari and Iftar dinner despite high rates in the hotels, he added. Asked to a senior CDGL officer about zero check on exorbitant rates being charged by hotels and restaurants, he replied that number of things are involved to bring the prices down. DCO fixed the prices of 25 commodities during Ramazan in a bid to ensure relief to people, he added. We had been also monitoring, he said, the rates of Iftar dinners in hotels and would take appropriate action soon. Another officer told The Nation that during a high-level meeting, some officials drew the attention towards this side. However, big bosses showed their indifference, he added. While one of top officials spelt out that government was focussing to provide relief to poor and those taking Iftar dinners in hotels and restaurants belonged to rich class who can afford high rates.