RAMADAN: Soaring prices a big worry in south Kashmir

The prices of essential commodities especially the vegetables and the fruits have sharply increased in the holy month of Ramadan across south Kashmir with consumers blaming the enforcement agencies for failing to keep prices under control.

Prices of onion, potato, garlic, ginger, tomato and cucumber have increased sharply, consumers complained.

They said the mutton, chicken and fish prices have also increased.

A visit to several markets across Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Anantnag, Awantipora and Kulgam, revealed that different commodities like chicken, vegetables and fruits are being sold much above the government notified rates.

The tomatoes and cucumber are being sold at Rs 90 per kg in the local markets here, which is almost Rs 40 higher than the earlier rates.

“It is unfortunate that the administration has failed to control prices and act against the hoarders and black marketers,” Gulzar Ahmad of Shopian said.

He said the state government should put in place strict measures to check profiteering by unscrupulous traders.

However, the traders have a different story to tell. “During this holy month, there is huge demand for the fruits. So naturally the prices will go up as they dependent on the demand and supply,” said Ghulam Mohammad, a fruit vendor at Murran Chowk Pulwama.

Consumers from Anantnag, and Kulgam said that meat is sold at Rs 500/kg, chicken at Rs 170/Kg and the rates of vegetables and fruits vary from shop to shop.

Director consumer affairs and public distribution (CAPD) Kashmir Mohammad Qasim Wani told Greater Kashmir that CAPD and the departments concerned are continuously conducting raids wherever they receive the complaints from.

“We have collected a fine Rs 7.5 lakh from black marketers and will continue to do so in case we receive any complaints,” he said.