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Hoarding leads to price hike in Ramzan: 9,000kg lemons seized

Ramzan, which is supposed to be a month of blessings, becomes a time of spiraling food prices and hoarding with many essential items getting out of reach of local folk. Shortage of lemons, which are mostly used to make lemonade for Iftar, is just one example of the unlimited greed. The artificial shortage created due to hoarding had pushed the price of lemon from Rs200 to Rs450 per kilogram.

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News Desk |

Shocking as it may seem, the Peshawar district administration seized around 9,000 kilograms of lemons from a cold storage and arrested a man in a raid on a tip-off in Peshawar on Wednesday. Subsequently, the nine tons of lemons seized from the hoarder were auctioned in Sabzi Mandi at opening bid of Rs200/kg as opposed to Rs450/kg.

Ramzan, which is supposed to be a month of blessings, becomes a time of spiraling food prices and hoarding which causes many essential items to climb the highest shelves. Shortage of lemons, which are mostly used to make lemonade for Iftar, is just one example of the unlimited greed of Pakistani black mafia. The artificial shortage created due to hoarding had pushed the price of lemon from Rs200 to Rs450 per kilogram.

The rate list is issued every year but followed by none, therefore, due to a poor check and balance system, vendors, shopkeepers, and utility store holders find their own ways to earn more than they are authorized.

It emerged on Wednesday that the Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali Asghar carried out an operation at the cold storage warehouse in Chamkani, seized the lemons and arrested a man for hoarding this humungous pile of lemons. The raid at the cold storage facility and subsequent sale of lemons at the market is likely to bring down the rates of lemon.

Increased Prices in the Month of Charity

It is in Ramzan, the holiest month of the entire Islamic calendar, that the Muslim world increases worship and prayers, reading and recitation of the Quran, religious devotion, spiritual reflection, self-examination and charity to the poor. However, as for as Pakistan is concerned, the country faces a hike in prices, which makes basic necessities hard to obtain, making the month quite exhausting for the people of the country.

Price of everyday commodities are hiked such as fruits and vegetables which are necessary because of the summer season and not to mention, helpful in maintaining essential nutrients which the body loses while fasting in such scorching heat.

Read more: Price hike during Ramadan

The prices spiked to almost double which made observing fast a difficult exercise for Muslims. In regard to this, all over the world, it is usually observed that on religious festivals, governments of every country provide subsidies on daily-use commodities but in Pakistan, the opposite is done. In some cases, the middle man makes things worse for common people and only vigilant city district administrations can provide relief to people by going after the hoarders and profiteers.

Ramzan Bachat Bazaars

Similar to the previous years, the government has recently announced a ‘Ramzan relief package’ in all utility stores as well as establishing Ramzan Bachat bazaars. The utility stores and bachat bazaars are set up to provide relief to masses by selling food items at a subsidized rate and they continue to work from the first day of Ramzan till Chand Raat (eve before Eid).

People believe that the government should come up with an effective policy to provide greater relief to masses as merely checking price lists in a few areas will not solve the problem.

The Punjab government is also going to set up Ramzan Bachat bazars, where subsidy is given on daily-use items, in different cities of the province. Without a doubt, it is a wonderful initiative by the government but people suffer when the administration fails to maintain a check and balance on the rate lists and the actual prices at the stores and bazaars.

The rate list is issued every year by district administration but followed by none; therefore, due to a poor check and balance system, vendors, shopkeepers, and utility store holders find their own ways to earn more than they have been authorized.

Read more: Five favorites for Iftar this Ramadan that you don’t want to…

Apart from stores and bazaars, the fruit and vegetable stalls established in streets continue to charge hefty amounts for the same vegetable and fruit that they were selling at half the price before Ramzan. People believe that the government should come up with an effective policy to provide greater relief to masses as merely checking price lists in a few areas will not solve the problem.