The concerned officials must strictly ensure that the prices of food items don’t go up in the markets during the holy month of Ramadhan. It has been noticed that as Ramadhan begins, the prices of some of the food items increase and there is no control over the trend.
The prices of fruit and vegetables increase and so do the prices of mutton and chicken. A number of shopkeepers sell food items on the prices of their own choice, and do not follow the rates fixed by the government. Hoarding and profiteering creates a chaotic scene in the markets.
Such a scene is witnessed in almost all the markets across Kashmir Valley. There are undoubtedly some shopkeepers who do not indulge in such malpractices but there are others who increase the prices.
Even the quality of the food items gets a hit during the holy month. Taking advantage, some shopkeepers sell the items which are not upto the standard as far as the quality is concerned.
Aware of bout the malpractices, senior government officers have been holding meetings with other officials, directing them to take action against those hiking the prices and resorting to hoarding and profiteering.
It is the duty of the ground staff to implement such directions from the top. If inspections are done on large scale and actions taken, the prices can be controlled.
Adequate manpower must be made available to the concerned teams to go for inspections on wider scale. Inspections at a few places only will not help.
The government officials can act as per their position and capacity, but the shopkeeper resorting to such malpractices must also realise what they are doing in this holy month.
A government official will not be always available to take action against the erring shopkeeper and ask him as to why is he doing wrong, and that too in Ramadhan. Given the sanctity of the holy month, those resorting to hoarding and profiteering must themselves give up such bad practices.
In this holy month when most people prefer avoiding bad deeds, increasing prices and making common people suffer must not happen. There are people who cannot afford the rising prices.
The mutton and chicken sellers must also understand that because of the high mutton and chicken consumption in Kashmir, they cannot always dictate terms to helpless customers.
They cannot always increase the prices as per their choice. They must strictly follow the government fixed rates. Same holds true about vegetables and fruit sellers, besides the shopkeepers selling other food items.