LAHORE - The greengrocers, fruit-sellers and other shopkeepers overcharged the consumers by taking advantage of closure of all the Sunday bazaars due to Youm-e-Ashur, revealed a survey conducted by The Nation. The consumers were not aware about the closure of Sunday bazaars and had to return on finding them closed. However, for buying daily use items they visited other nearby wholesale markets, where the vendors continued fleecing them unchecked by the officials of CDGL and price control committees. The shopkeepers as well as handcart vendors charged the rates by overlooking all the rules and regulations set-up by the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) and by violating the rates of daily use commodities fixed by the District Coordination Officer (DCO), town administrations and provincial price control committee. Despite the holiday, most of the vendors, particularly the greengrocers and fruit-vendors were opened and were doing their business besides the vendors of wholesale markets who also continued their business activities on the occasion and earned a lot by overcharging the consumers. Besides the consumers, the wholesale market traders and retailers of the fruit markets and vegetable markets of Baghban Pura, Badami Bagh, Kotlakhpat, Township and other areas also overcharged the shopkeepers and handcart vendors as well. Some, shopkeepers alleged the wholesalers for overcharging saying that they by taking advantage of the occasion and closure of Sunday bazaars not only overcharged the consumers but also the shopkeepers due to which the retailers increased the rates of all the daily use commodities. We did not overcharge the consumers but the skyrocketing wholesale market rates compelled us to do so, they added. Miraj Din, a wholesale vendor of vegetables in Baghbanpura Market (Mandi), clarified that the retailers were compelled to increase the rates of such commodities because most of the growers could not supply their commodities in the market due to insufficient transport availability on the occasion of Youm-e-Ashur. He said that in such situation they could not purchase the demanded quantity of such products from the growers and such poor supply mechanism resulted in increasing rates even in the wholesale markets. On the other hand, the citizens complained that the shopkeepers and handcart vendors were overcharging by taking advantage not only due to two holidays on the occasion of Youm-e-Ashur but also due to closure of Sunday bazaars. The shopkeepers and handcart vendors were overcharging more than 20 to 30 percent on all the commodities in violation of the rate list, issued by the government which troubled the poor consumers, said a consumer Asad Ali. He said that the shopkeepers took the benefit of two holidays (Sunday-Monday) because they know that all the markets would remain close on Monday as well and mostly consumers compelled to purchase and stock such daily use commodities particularly the food items in their homes.