LAHORE - Though the prices of some vegetables have increased in Sunday Bazaars due to supply reasons yet the rates of poultry products, which are comparatively high in open market due to supply reasons, were available at very less cost.
The government of Punjab have set up Sunday bazaars and special Sahulat bazaars to control inflation in the province but it has failed to do so, as majority of the rates of kitchen items including vegetables, are almost same with the prices of open market and some items have difference of just Rs3-5 with open market. However, the poultry is the only item which was available at a high concession as compared to open market, as eggs were being sold for Rs85-87 per dozen against open market of Rs110-120 per dozen. Though the official rate of eggs in open retail market hovers around Rs110 per dozen yet most of the shopkeepers are getting high margin and selling the product at Rs120 per dozen.
Most of the vegetables rates were stable while some items registered raise despite abundant supply as potato rate was up and fixed at Rs50 per kg from earlier rate of Rs40 per kg. Likewise cauliflower rate was up to Rs15 per kg from earlier rate of Rs10 per kg while peas rates went up Rs45 per kg from last rate of Rs40 per kg.
The visitors of the Sunday bazaars commented that they found the visible difference of around Rs25-30 per dozen only in eggs and Rs15-20 concession in chicken rates while no significant cut in prices of vegetables, fruits or other kitchen items were found in makeshift markets.
The Punjab government has organized the special makeshift Sastay bazaars across the province to control the price hike of vegetables and fruits. However, the efforts of the government have proved futile due to its artificial steps to control the inflation.
If the government will make efforts to reduce the involvement of the middlemen in supply of the perishable items from farm to market, the inflation can be controlled in a better way. The government can also reduce the prices by ensuring provision of subsidy to the farmers.
The significant cut in prices of poultry products in Sunday bazaar is due to agreement of poultry industry which has ensured the government that chicken meat will be available at reduced rates in Sahulat Bazars as compared to the open market, with reduction of Rs10 per kg, while eggs would be available at Rs12 per dozen reduced price, vendors said.
As there is some check in Sunday bazaars the poultry products are easily available there at cut prices while these products are sold in open market with huge profit margin by the retailers in absence of any official check.
The vendors said that the government instead of controlling the middlemen mafia involved in the supply chain network of the perishable items has been trying to control the inflation through makeshift markets.
This week in the Sunday bazaars, price of potato was fixed at Rs19 per kg and A-grade potato was sold at Rs 20 per kg while onion rate was raised by Rs4 per kg, tomato price was increased by Rs7 per kg. Carrot price was raised to Rs15 per kg and turnip rate was fixed at Rs12 per kg and sold at Rs 20 per kg. Ginger, Thailand, rate was increased by Rs10 per kg and fixed at Rs206 and ginger India, at Rs 158 to 162 per kg. Brinjal price was increased by Rs 4 per kg to Rs25 per kg. Cucumber price was increased to Rs60 per kg. Price of bitter gourd was increased by Rs15 per kg to fix at Rs 75 per kg but sold at Rs 80 per kg.