People are ready to buy fruit at high rates, says Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani.
SAMAA Digital conducted a short market survey at the end of the first week of Ramazan to review the prices of basic commodities, especially fruit.
It was observed that Category A fruits were missing from most markets while Category B fruits were being sold at prices higher than those fixed for Category A fruits.
Karachiites lamented that this happens every year. Fruit vendors sell fruits at their own rates in Ramazan in violation of the government’s price list.
More than 90% of the fruit vendors did not have a price list while only some had put up the list, but were not following it.
The district administration has raided some markets in districts South and East, but no action has been taken as yet against the profiteers in districts Central, Malir and Korangi.
The Karachi commissioner said a fine of Rs3 million has been imposed on profiteers, particularly fruit vendors, for over-charging and an absence of the price list during the first week of Ramazan.
He said the monitoring teams would impose the fine on a daily basis and the process will continue till the end of Ramazan.
Category A fruits are only available in some areas, including DHA, Clifton, North Nazimabad, Burns Road and Gulshan-e-Iqbal. But at very high rates.
Bananas are being sold for Rs140 per dozen instead of the fixed rate of Rs100, apples at Rs350 per kg instead of Rs179, hush melons at Rs140 per kg instead of Rs85, cheekos at Rs160 per kg instead of Rs105, peaches at Rs250 per kg instead of Rs189 and a box of cherries at Rs250 instead of Rs169.
Category B fruits are available in the market at rates higher than those assigned for Category A fruits. Bananas are being sold in the markets for Rs120 instead of Rs70, apples for Rs250 instead of Rs142, hush melons for Rs120 instead of Rs63, cheekos for Rs120 instead of Rs75 and peaches for Rs180 instead of Rs157 per kg.
Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Kaukab Iqbal said the fruit rates are very high and the government price list is not being followed in posh areas, including DHA, Clifton, North Nazimabad and Gulshan-e-Iqbal. He said the rates had come down slightly in some areas as compared to last week.