LAHORE - Prices of vegetables and fruits have gone beyond the reach of middle and lower class people with tomatoes being sold at Rs160/kg at ‘Sasta’ Sunday Bazaars.

The consumers complained that sellers are overcharging in various Sunday bazaar of the city and not showing their rate lists. Tomatoes were available in limited quantity and shopkeepers were not offering more than a kilogram to the customers.

It was revealed during a survey by The Nation that shopkeepers in different Sunday Bazaars were selling poor quality items on the prices of supermarket products.

This Sunday, the price of tomatoes jumped by Rs69 to Rs100 per kg and reached at Rs 160 per kilogram.

The price of onion witnessed an increase of Rs28 to Rs30 per kg. Similarly, the price of ladyfinger rose to Rs 100 per kg. China garlic was sold at Rs300 per kg; while last Sunday it was sold at Rs 270. Cabbage price this week was less (Rs25 per kg) as compared to the previous one (Rs35 per kg).While the price of Peas remained unchanged at Rs40 without any changes in prices.

Chicken prices registered an increase of Rs15 per kg and were sold at Rs235 per kg in different markets.

“We understand that prices are high and beyond the reach of common people but when the government reduces the rate of one commodity another increases. We have to sell our items on high rates to recover the loss,” said Malik Faheem, a retailer in Shadman Colony.

According to Fayyaz Ahmed, a shopkeeper, they are facing shortage of tomatoes and some other vegetables of daily use which compelled them to sell the vegetables on increased rates. “If shortage of commodities will stay the same, prices will further shoot up,” he warned.

Noorein Fatima, a consumer, told The Nation that Sunday Bazaar was only considered the market for the poor class to purchase vegetables and fruits but with the high rates they are unable to eat daily use vegetables. “The government should take action against profiteers and reduce their rates so that common people may also be able to purchase,” she demanded.

Arhum Farid, another customer, said that there was no major difference in price of fruits, chicken and vegetables after and before the budget announced. “I prefer now to purchase from commercial markets. No doubt, their rates are high but they have better stuff.”