As the holy month of Ramazan has set in, the prices of vegetables, fruits and other basic commodities have increased phenomenally across the country.
Every year, before and during the holy month, hoarders and profiteers create artificial price-hike to get illegal profit creating immense problems for the already inflation-hit masses.
It was observed that prices of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, chillies and other vegetables had increased phenomenally while wholesalers and retailers were not following the government-approved rates.
In Lahore and Rawalpindi gram flour was selling at Rs 100 to 110 per kilogram with a sudden increase of Rs 10, dates at Rs 130 to 160 with an increase of Rs 30 per kg, white gram at Rs 110 per kg, an increase of Rs 10 and sugar by Rs 2 per kilogram.
In Karachi, it was found that white chickpea was selling at Rs 120 to Rs 130 per kilogram, yellow lentils at Rs 140 to Rs 160 per kg and split chickpea at Rs 110 per kg with an increase of Rs 20.
In Peshawar, prices of daily-use items were increased without any check from the authorities. Lemon price has soared to Rs 160 per kilogram with an increase of Rs 60 while eggs are being sold at Rs 110 per dozen with an increase of Rs 10, dates are being sold at Rs 180 with an increase of Rs 30 per kg.
In Quetta, lemon was selling at Rs 200 with an increase of Rs 80 this month whereas gram flour price has soared to Rs 110 per kg with an increase of Rs 20. The prices of fruits have also increased across the country and being sold at asking prices. The demand for fruits has increased to such a high level that the shops and hand carts go empty before the breaking of fast.
Talking to this agency, people said they were forced to purchase fruit for Iftar because they could not allow their children and family members to go into depression of being poor after whole day of fast in summer. They, however, wondered the attitude of the concerned authorities for allowing uncalled for increase in prices by pointing out that though the demand has increased but how come the cost of production of fruits have gone up.
They strongly criticised the government for not taking notice of this abnormal increase in prices by giving a free hand to hoarders and profiteers.