Authorities sit on overpricing of essential items in Srinagar

Vegetables, poultry, meat, fruits being sold at exorbitant rates
Tomato is sold at Rs 60 while onion and potatoes are sold at 30 to 50 per Kg.
Tomato is sold at Rs 60 while onion and potatoes are sold at 30 to 50 per Kg. Nasir Khan/ GK

Srinagar: Failure of authorities to enforce check on overpricing is taking a heavy toll on people in the summer capital.

People of different areas here said that in absence of enforcement squad, shopkeepers and vendors are having a field day to sell essential items at exorbitant prices.

Survey of various markets that fruit and vegetables are being sold at multiple prices without following rate lists. Tomato is sold at Rs 60 while onion and potatoes are sold at 30 to 50 per Kg. Shopkeepers and vendors are hiking price by at least 10 to 20 rupees on vegetables and fruit.

“If you go to buy vegetables from any vendor, you will get 10 different rates from different vendors. Aren’t shopkeepers and vendors supposed to follow a common rate list?. Since the beginning of Ramadhan, there has been a massive price hike of essentials and authorities are sitting on the issue,” said Muhammad Saleem, a shopper from Srinagar.

As per survey at Hazratbal market, Bananas are sold at Rs 120 per dozen while watermelon at Rs 60 per KG. The consumers said that fruits like musk melon are sold from 60 to 80 rupees per kg.

“There is a huge consumption of fruits during Ramadhan and unfortunately vendors are misusing the opportunity. Had there been strict market checks, we could have got some respite. Yesterday I bought Bananas at 100 rupees per dozen and today the same quality of bananas were sold at 120 in Hazratbal,” said Bilal Ahmed, a consumer at Hazratbal.

The consumers also complain that poultry is being sold at higher rates than government-designated rates. The consumers said that despite the government fixing the rate of chicken at around 152 rupees per Kilogram, the sellers are resorting to rates of their own.

“We have now forgotten about rate list. A few weeks back government officials said that the chicken rate is 152 per KG and now poultry is being sold at around 170 per kg at various places,” said another consumer.

Even meat is being sold at Rs 630 to Rs 700 per kg at various areas as compared to Rs 600 official rate in Srinagar.

“Adherence to rate list and heavy fine on vendors for overpricing can help to regulate prices of essential items. Otherwise, it is open loot by vendors and shopkeepers will continue,” he added.

Director FSC&CA Abdul Salam Mir said, “we will intensify market checks to prevent overcharging.”

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