KARACHI - The Ramazan package announced by the city administration has failed to provide relief to the masses as there is no mechanism to control the wave of price hike in markets, it emerged here on Saturday.

Despite the tall claims by the city administration to control prices, record increased has been witnessed in the prices of essential kitchen items.

Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman Consumer Association, told The Nation said it is not possible to control price hike without imposition of heavy fines on profiteers and hoarders and sending them to jails.

He suggested the authorities to check the godowns and cold storages to maintain the smooth supply of kitchen items and fruits to the markets.

Iqbal expressed his reservation over the initiatives taken by City Administration and said their are a lot of loopholes which give golden opportunity to profiteers to loot the consumers.

On the other side, most of the citizens expressed their concerns over government’s campaign and declared it as a flop strategy. A resident of Johar area Karachi M Afaq told The Nation the government price lists are useless. He said that mostly it (price list) is not available at any shop and even if it is available the shopkeepers make lame excuses to produce it.

Mian Shahid, a resident of Shah Faisal Colony, said that there are many fruit and vegetable stalls in the city which charge their own rates without any fear.

Citizens also complained against the high prices of the so-called super stores, which seem exempted from the price control. Some of the stores charge Rs 40 extra for commodities like maize. However, they appreciated the one window operation of the super stores where the packaging and quality attracts the consumers but termed extraordinary charging as unjustified.    

“Wholesalers of the commodities are willing to control the price hike during Ramzan but it will happen only if city administration cooperates with them,” said Abdul Qadir Noorani, General Secretary Jordia Bazar Association.

He totally refused the shortage of essential kitchen items ahead of Ramzan and said there is no chaos in the wholesale markets in this regard.  

Noorani told The Nation the consumption of non-running kitchen items has increased ahead of holy month and it is the main reason that gives a scenario of shortage, price hike and hoarding.

He condemned the hoarding and said they are very fewer and we will control them with help of authorities. He said, to control the price hike and hoarding, members of the Association are now the part of price control committee formed to maintain the rates of essential items as per rate list.