Islamabad: As the prices of edibles swell in the city, the citizens have decided to run a campaign against the price hike by boycotting the edibles for everyday use for up to three days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Awareness campaign for this is being carried out on social media. The people are also demanding that the government reduce the prices of edibles, especially in the month of Ramzan.
A fruit broker said that currently there are three classes of fruit that are being sold in markets in Pakistan: A class, B class and C class fruits. A class fruits are the best quality fruits and are hardly available in the country. Class B fruits are available at stores located in Posh areas which still of good quality. Class C quality fruit that is available to the common folks is already of such low standard that instead of improving, this fruit becomes a hazard for health. Sprayed with insecticides and other chemicals, class C level fruits are detrimental to health. The broker added that the class A fruits are exported to other countries and the local people are left with class B quality fruits that are not good enough.
It is important to note that the provincial government has constituted a price control team that is appointed with the task of maintaining low prices of essential edibles. Unfortunately, the officials in the team are corrupt. They take bribe from the fruit suppliers in return for keeping a blind eye to their illicit profiteering.
The Punjab government has allocated millions of rupees for subsidising fruits in the province. Despite this, the citizens are complaining that they are buying fruit at a rate that is higher than the rate before Ramzan. Even in Ramzan bazaars that were supposed to be the model bazaars for the entire province, for their contained prices, are providing no relief to the people as the shopkeepers in theses bazaars are not selling fruits at their designated rates.
Also, many people complain that class B and class C quality fruits are being mixed together and sold at the rates set for class B quality fruits.
Provincial Minister for Food Bilal Yasin said that he will ensure that the edibles are sold at cheaper rates at Ramzan bazaars.