Srinagar: Sale of essential commodities at exorbitant rates in run-up to Eid-ul-Adha is taking a heavy toll on people in the summer capital.
Amid widespread complaints authorities claim to have set-up special price control squads to check profiteering on the eve of Eid-ul-Adha.
Consumers in Srinagar complained that chicken and mutton are being sold at exorbitant rates and government-approved rates are not being adhered to.
Consumers from different areas of Srinagar complained that mutton was being sold at Rs 650 per kg instead of the government fixed rate Rs 535 per kg. People complain that chicken is being sold from Rs 160/ kg to Rs 190/kg.
Some callers from Zainakadal, Habakadal, HMT, Nishat and Chanapora shared similar complaints and said that cheese was being sold at Rs 270/kg.
People complained that there were no market-checking teams visible on the ground, thus giving free field to shopkeepers and vendors to violate the government fixed rates.
“Potatoes, tomatoes, radish and other vegetables are also being sold at exorbitant rates. People have no option but to pay extra bucks,” said Bilal Ahmad of Khanyar.
Many people said the shopkeepers were resorting to profiteering under the nose of authorities. “There is complete failure of market regulation,” they said.
In view of the upcoming Eid, the demand for essential commodities has increased manifold.
The demand for mutton, chicken, bakery and other commodities has grown up and is likely to increase manifold with the festival coming closer.
The Eid-ul-Adha is scheduled to be celebrated on 21 July, this year across the Jammu and Kashmir.
There are several agencies responsible for checking the menace of profiteering. One of the major departments which fix rates of essential commodities is Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA).
Due to over profiteering, celebration of festival is going to be a costly affair for poor, complaint people.
Given the invisibility of checking squads on ground and absence of effective mechanism, people fear the exorbitant prices are likely to increase more.
People said that authorities should take timely measures to check the menace of profiteering. They said there is need for intensified market regulation in view of Eid festival.
FCSCA Assistant Director (Enforcement) Mushtaq Ahmad said that action under law was being taken against profiteers.
He said that people having complaints about profiteering can contact them on toll-free number 18001807011, adding, “Immediate action under law will follow against violators.”