LAHORE - Disappearance of senior members of Sunday bazaar committees is encouraging the stallholders and vendors who are using unfair means to fleece the consumers by displaying fake price lists under the cover of some ‘dutiful officials and resultantly, prices of edibles are going beyond the reach of mostly consumers.

In this regard, spokesman of CDGL said that the authorities concerned were punishing the vendors, by imposing fines and canceling stalls of some of the shopkeepers on account of overcharging in violation of the rate lists and selling substandard and low quality daily use products especially the edibles

Keeping in view some consumer suggestions that the punishment as a check or accountability of the vendors is insufficient according the severity of the act of such stallholders who are contributing diseases among the citizens by selling unhygienic edibles which was a criminal negligence and they must be taken up as criminals.

Further, the vendors have also been selling unhygienic and overpriced commodities despite the rates of products, enlisted in the official rate lists showed an increased in 23 essential commodities with decrease in 19 seasonal vegetables’ and fruit prices, they have not been implemented by the authority concerned in almost all of the Sunday bazaars of the city but the vendors and stallholders were continuing overcharging and fleece practice and unchecked by the officials concerned and the consumers were paying rates higher than the official ones.

The rates of some essential items such as onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, lemon, potato, green chilli and some other products gone up as a result of recent raise in prices by CDGL especially the prices of above mentioned vegetables in Sunday bazaars and resultantly such unwise decision of the district administration left a minor difference in the prices of products available in Sunday bazaars and in open market.

Further, such decision also marred the worth and usefulness of these Sunday bazaars for the citizens and especially for the regular consumers.

A stallholder, Muhammad Hussain said that selling at low prices was difficult because of sudden raise in prices of some essential products and other expenditures like transportation and cleaning of the food items. “If we are buying at exorbitant rates from the wholesale market, how can we sell at a low price?” he added. He suggested the government to focus and control the prices of products in wholesale markets instead of controlling the rates in Sunday bazaars. 

Although Sunday markets have been known to offer good quality commodities at fair prices, the situation has changed as only substandard fruits and vegetables adorn Sunday bazaar stalls now and the authorities are imposing fines of some hundred of rupees on them in their performance sheets.

In, Shadman, Shadbagh, Shalimar, Johar Town, Wahdat Colony and Model Town Bazaars no senior official was seen controlling the bazaar and the visitors were at the vendors’ mercy, compelled to buy low quality products.

Residents of above said vicinities demanded the administration to make an efficient mechanism for controlling prices and taking action against vendors selling low quality fruits and vegetables at high rates. A Sunday bazaar consumer Akmal said that there was no price control due to the large conflict between the official and shopkeeper’s prices, adding that he made several complaints but there the government took no action.

A consumer Athar Mehmood complained that shopkeepers were free to demand whatever price they wanted. “Buying from the Sunday market has become so confusing, if we want a fair price, the quality is terrible, and if we do not want to compromise the quality, then it is just unaffordable for us!” he exclaimed. On the other hand, the district government officials were of the view that managing Sunday bazaar on such a large scale was not easy. However, they affirmed that the price and food quality issue would be resolved soon.