Fleecing at Sunday Market continues

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*Vegetables being sold Rs 20 per kg more than the govt-fixed price as DCO Office staff, Market Committee inspectors and market contractors make money at the common man’s expense

Sunday Market set up by the government in Wahdat Colony has failed to facilitate the common man as officials at the helm of affairs are colluding with the traders at the market to sell vegetables at more than the government-stipulated prices, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The common man is unaware of the prices fixed by the government even though a rate list is forwarded by District Coordination Officer (DCO) Office to the traders at the market.

This is because the staff of the DCO Office and town administration does not bring the rate list to the fore and mint money from the traders for allowing them to sell the goods at much higher a price than stated on the list.

As per the government issued rate list, per kilogramme price of vegetables sold at the market is fixed at: green chilli Rs 60, garlic (China) Rs 110, peeled garlic Rs 200, ginger Rs 275, tomato Rs 80, onion Rs 35, potato Rs 63, mint Rs 10, cabbage Rs 40, capsicum Rs 30, bitter gourd Rs 50, yam Rs 50, turnip Rs 60, gheeya Rs 30, cucumber Rs 40, baingan Rs 15, bhindi Rs 80, phali 60, peas Rs 100, cauliflower Rs 60, loki Rs 40, maethi Rs 100, teenday Rs 80, saag Rs 25 and spinach Rs 20.

But traders do not display the list and continue to sell vegetables at Rs 15 to Rs 20 more than the aforementioned prices.

When contacted, Market Committee Inspection Officer Hussain Kazmi told Pakistan Today about the “check and balance” that is in place.

“In case a customer comes up to us with a complaint, we tell the stall owner in question to adhere to the government-fixed prices and threaten to fine him if he fails to do so.”

According to sources in the Market Committee, Kazmi has been inspecting the market for the past 10 years and openly boasts of greasing the palms of everyone from the high-up officials down to the TMOs.

“The market’s contractor, Malik Asif, takes Rs 100 from each of the nearly 400 stalls at the market,” the source added.

When contacted, Asif said denied charging Rs 100 per stall.

“I only charge Rs 70 per stall,” he said, adding that a chunk of the amount goes into bribing the officials on duty at the market to keep their mouths shut about the misdoings at the market.

 

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