The prices of food items and utilities are rising every day. There is no doubt that the increased prices of petroleum products and the steep devaluation of the rupee against the dollar are the root causes of soaring prices, but one of the main hidden factors is the profiteer.’ I am a student in my second semester at the Islamic Learning Department at Karachi University. Here, I would like to share two personal experiences of unethical profiteering.
On August 20, 2023, I purchased a packet of four capsules of Itrazox (itraconazole) 100 mg from M/s. Maxitech Pharma (Pvt) Ltd. for Rs. 295/-. However, after four days, the medical storekeeper charged me Rs. 400, which is 35% more for the same medicine. Surprisingly, the manufacturing and expiry dates of both packets are the same: 06-23, and the expiry date is 06-2025, with different Maximum Retail Price (MRP) tags of Rs. 295 and Rs. 400, respectively. Images of both packets containing different prices are attached.
I believe this is quite unfair and constitutes unethical profit. This is just one example of medicine; imagine the impact on all kinds of products at a macro level.
Another experience involves purchasing vegetables. On a Sunday, at a local sabzi market, I checked onion prices from different vendors who were selling them at Rs. 80 per kg. I purchased 2 kg, and on my way back, I noticed a pushcart onion seller at my society gate selling the same quality onions. I asked for the price, and he told me it was Rs. 50 per kg. I purchased 2 more kilogrammes from him. There was a price difference of Rs. 30 per kg, which is 60% more, even though the pushcart vendor would have added his profit as well. It is the profiteers in the market who have made our lives miserable.
There is a pressing need to enforce the price control laws of the land effectively and take quick action against these profiteers to provide immediate relief to our citizens.