Kashmir: Prices of essentials soar, consumers exasperated

Market checking squads formed, shopkeepers, vendors directed to display proper rate lists, say officials  
By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: Prices of essential commodities in Kashmir have witnessed a steep hike during the past fortnight leaving the consumers exasperated.
According to the details available with the Precious Kashmir, prices of vegetables have increased significantly. “Don’t blame us for selling the vegetables on a high cost as it’s beyond our control. We are getting our stocks at higher rates from the mandi itself,” said a vegetable vendor at Sanat Nagar in uptown here.
He said, “People are accusing us of indulging in profiteering but the fact is that we are selling our goods at nominal profit margins.”
It’s in place to mention here that during the past 15-days the prices of petrol and diesel have increased rapidly, which has led to the increase in freight charges.
Farooq Ahmed, who had come to purchase groceries, while talking to this newspaper said, “In the ongoing holy month of Ramadan one has to make the purchases daily. During the past few days I have observed that rates of vegetables and fruits are increasing everyday.”
Ahmed said, “The vendors and shopkeepers are expressing helplessness by saying that to regulate the prices is not in their hands.”
He said, “The Food and Supplies Department needs to intervene and check the soaring prices as these are drilling a hole in the pockets of a common man.”
A businessman said that in the month of Ramadan the demand for the commodities like vegetables, fruits, mutton and chicken increases. “The gap between the demand and supply leads to prices going up. The increase in fuel prices has also led to spike in rates.”
He said, “In absence of local production Kashmir is completely dependent on the supplies from other places. Blaming government only is not fair. There are multiple reasons for prices of essentials going up.”
It’s a nearly after a gap of 2-years that people in Kashmir are observing Ramadan without any fear of Covid-19 infection. “Markets in Kashmir are abuzz after a longtime during the holy month. The things will stabilize in coming days. The representative bodies of traders need to intervene and ensure that a few black sheep don’t exploit the situation,” said a trader.
An official said, “The administration is monitoring the situation and market checking squads have been formed to ensure that no one indulges in black marketing and people don’t face any inconvenience. Shopkeepers and vendors have been directed to display the proper rate lists and not to sell any commodity above the marked price.”


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