Fruit, vegetable prices skyrocket: retailers continue to fleece people

Retailers continue to fleece people, charging exorbitant prices in the absence of any government control over rates of daily use items. Prices of most daily use items showed an increase between 100 and 200 percent in the retail sector against their prices in the wholesale markets. Various varieties of mangoes, being dumped in the local market in the wake of a sharp fall in exports, are also being sold between Rs 60 to Rs 120 per kilogram against their prices in the wholesale market, which range between Rs 30 and Rs 40 per kilogramme.

Superior quality Chaunsa mangoes, being sold in the wholsale market at Rs 35-40 per kg, are available in retail outlets at Rs 70-90 per kg. During a survey of various markets, this correspondent observed that neither the Sindh government’s Bureau of Supply nor any of district commissioners had issued any notification or price list to keep control over retail prices. It is anticipated that commodities such as fruits and vegetables could be sold at highly exagerated rates during Ramazan. Vegetables and fruits were found to be most expensive at tented retail outlets and pushcarts against same items in local markets.

Charging higher prices for comparatively healthier fruits by profiteers is also common in retail market where a variety of fruit was being sold at different rates at the same outlets. Issuing price lists and price enforcement was earlier planned by the commissionrate system in the city, but there is no evidence on the ground because of which the people are left at the mercy of profiteers. According to the available rate list for fruits and vegetables at the Sabzi Mandi, prices of vegetables on Thursday were as follows: potato, onion and tomato, most consumed items, were sold at Rs 13, Rs 12, and Rs 15 per kilogram, respectively. The same items were available at retail outlets for Rs 25-Rs 30/kg. The same rate differential was observed in prices of other vegetables, including cucumber, okra, garlic, green chilies, cauliflower, Kareela, Gajar and Loki.

Dhanya, Palak, Podina, Karai Patta were being sold at 200 percent higher rates against their wholesale prices. Mangoes (langra) were available at pushcarts at Rs 60/kg against their wholesale rate of Rs 30/kg. Other varieties of mangoes, including Sindhri and Chaunsa, Dusehri and Sardi, were being sold at retail prices of Rs 60, Rs 90/kg, Rs 60/kg and Rs 60/kg, respectively, against wholesale rates of Rs 30/kg and Rs 40/kg, Rs 30/kg and Rs 30/kg on Thursday.

Other fruits, including bananas, watermelons, peaches, papayas, Garma and cherry were available in various parts of the city at retail prices of Rs 150/dozen, Rs 50/kg, Rs 160/kg, Rs 120/kg, Rs 80/kg and Rs 420/kg, respectively, against their wholesale prices of Rs 100/dozen, Rs 30/kg, Rs 100/kg, Rs 70/kg, Rs 40/kg, and Rs 190/kg, respectively. Prices of these itms in posh localities showed a spike just before the month of Ramazan. Even prices of fruits and vegetables at Sabzi Mandi also showed an increase between 10 and 20 percent over the past week against their rates last month.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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