Inflation in Bhakkar has spiraled out of control, pushing vegetables and fruits out of the reach of the common man.
According to the traders, due to the havoc of floods in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, the availability of seasonal vegetables got badly affected, and in the areas where these vegetables remained safe, their prices have skyrocketed.
In the market at present, the price of tomato, which used to be available at Rs100 per kilogram, is being sold at Rs220 per kilogram; the price of onion was Rs50 per kilogram, but now it is being sold at Rs.120 per kilogram.
The price of ginger has gone up to of Rs300 per kilogram from Rs109 per kilogram. The prices of ladyfinger and eggplant have gone up Rs100 per kilogram. Potato is being sold at Rs120 per kilogram.
Moreover, prices of fruits have also gone up. A person with a limited income can now only see apples, bananas, grapes, pomegranates, etc., but they can’t buy them.
In view of this situation, Sargodha Division Commissioner Maryam Khan has called for the performance report from the assistant commissioners regarding price control.
She directed the officials to encourage better performing price control magistrates and take action against those who had been performing badly. She issued these orders in the review meeting regarding price control. Apart from representative commissioners, officers of industry, food, agriculture and representatives of the Market Committee also participated in the meeting.
The commissioner also directed the officials to take strict action against the profiteers involved in serious violation of selling essential commodities at higher prices.
The commissioner also issued orders to the deputy commissioners to visit the vegetable and fruit markets once a week to monitor the auction process, while orders were also issued to the responsible officer to visit the market and keep police with him on all days of the week. She instructed the officials to monitor supply and quality of essential items.
She said that every price magistrate should be given a circle and his monitoring should be ensured. Prices of food items should be reviewed and revised after every 15 days. Price lists should be displayed in prominent places in shops. Inspection of sugar and flour mills should be based on daily basis. Vigorous crackdown on smugglers and hoarders should be continued. She also emphasized on the need to activate farmer platforms in the markets and to promote the price app fully and to create awareness among the users about the use of the app.
Commissioner Maryam Khan said that the role of Secretary DRTA was very important to bring relief to the people due to reduction in petrol and dollar prices. In the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner also gave a detailed briefing about the measures taken regarding price control.
The commissioner told The Express Tribune that in order to monitor the auction of vegetables and fruits and moderate the prices of vegetables and fruits in the market, the district and tehsil administration officers had been directed to visit the vegetable and fruit market in the morning and send the report of the bidding process of the vegetable and fruit to the commissioner’s office.
The commissioner directed the officers of the district administration, ADCs, ACs, police, agriculture and livestock department to monitor the auction process in the vegetable and fruit market daily. The commissioner said that on the instructions of the Punjab government, it would be ensured that profiteering was eliminated and the supply of vegetables and fruits to the common man at cheap prices ensured.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd2022.