The Karachi commissioner’s office has launched an Android app, Karachi Price List, to track the official prices of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, bakery and other grocery items.
The app displays updated prices of all items and sends notifications to users when changes are made. The app also gives users an option to register complaint if they find vendors selling these items at higher prices.
However, the app has glitches as well. Unlike the official portal of the commissioner’s office, lists in some categories, such as meat, rice, pulses and spices, are not loading on the app. In other cases, such as vegetables, lists are not displaying in alphabetical order, making it difficult to search for a particular item. The direct search option is not available either and you have to scroll down the list to find its price.
Given that the app has just been launched and has only been downloaded around 100 times so far, some of the glitches may get resolved soon, as is the case with every new app.
Fighting over prices of daily use items is common in markets as citizens often complain that shopkeepers don’t display official lists. The app will solve that problem since consumers will now be carrying the price lists on their mobile phones. However, there may still be price differences because vendors in most cases don’t follow official prices, saying they don’t make enough profit if they do.
For example, you can buy 500g of bread for Rs45 from most shops, which is also the official rate, but a kilogram of boneless veal (meat) is selling for around Rs600 in many markets as opposed to the official rate of Rs470. The same meat costs Rs750 per kg at high-end butcheries, such as MeatOne.