Citizens ask officials to visit markets to maintain prices

  • ICT official says special teams regularly inspecting in their assigned areas, punishing violators

ISLAMABAD: The citizens on Saturday urged the authorities concerned to pay surprise visits to rein the prevailing phenomena of overcharging being observed in different markets of the federal capital.

The public was of the view that the government had taken productive steps by introducing the fixed and affordable rates for fruits, but it is time to keep an eye on the profiteers who always look for an opportunity of fleecing the public.

According to them, such visits of the officials concerned in fruit and vegetable markets would help maintaining the prices of fruits and facilitate buyers during the holy month of Ramzan. Muhammad Shafique, a resident of Sector G-13/4, said that he had to pay Rs 280 just to buy one dozen of banana, which means he had paid Rs 140 extra just to buy one fruit.

He asked the Price Control Committee members of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to check the prices of fruits which were sky rocketing despite claims of the departments concerned. He said that it was not possible for residents to go G-9 market, a 10 kilometres away from G-13 and they had to buy fruits from the local market where every shop keeper has its own rate list and everyone was misleading the buyers.

Another buyer from the same market said that the shopkeepers had placed unauthorised rate lists which should be checked regularly by the officials of the Islamabad Capital Territory and urged them to ensure that every shopkeeper in the federal capital had actual price list placed for general public.

“I fully support the on-going social media drive to avoid buying high-rate fruits, as these fruits were not in access of a layman. This campaign could be an eye opener for hoarders to avoid this immoral practice during the fasting month and think of giving relief to poor people.” When contacted, an ICT official said that special committee has been formed to control the prices of edible items in the federal capital during this month.

He said that teams have been regularly carrying out inspections in their assigned areas, punishing the violators. He said that the campaign would continue during the whole month. He said that the ICT administration had imposed fines amounting Rs 1,40,800 on shopkeepers for over charging the food items during its ongoing crackdown against hoarders.

The official said that as many as 20 price checking teams headed by the magistrates checked 88 shops so far and took action against the 26 profiteers. He said that seven profiteers were also arrested on the spot for violation of the Pure Food Ordinance.

In some areas, he said that the profiteers were found selling substandard food items besides complaints of displaying fake rate lists. All such shopkeepers had been clearly directed to display rate list of food items and sell foods at the fixed rate and strict action would be taken against them, he added.