RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD – As the holy month of Ramazan comes nearer, the prices of daily use items have noticed an upward trend as profiteers have become active to gain maximum profits during the month. The prices of essential commodities have already gone up to sky high. Besides vegetables and fruits all the basic commodities have witnessed an increase in their prices, burdening more the already troubled common man. Traditionally fruits and vegetable prices at the advent of the holy month of Ramadan went spiralling high by 80-100 percent. More than 25 daily commodities like sugar, rice, pulses, chicken, beef, mutton, vegetables and fruit prices have shot up in local markets. Like past, this year also the price control system of city district government appears to have failed in controlling the prices even before Ramadan. The price lists issued by the local administration seems a showpiece in the shops. Nowadays, wholesalers and retailers, particularly of fruits and vegetables, are enjoying a free hand to fleece the consumers ahead of holy month despite of all the claims of the authorities concerned. The price of sugar has already been raised by 2 to 3 rupees per kg. Dates are available from Rs 150 Rs to Rs 180 half kg, while chicken is being sold at around Rs 360-380 per KG. Besan is regularly used in Ramadan for making Pakoras for Iftar and its price nowadays is around Rs 120 to 130 a Kilo. Yogurt is being sold at Rs 75 to Rs 90 while a litre of milk costs Rs 65 to Rs 75. Despite of being honest and helpful at least in the holy month the retailers exploit the needs of public in Ramadan. Even the lower middle class person tries to eat nutritious fruits daily but how can they afford such prices? From now it seems that people have to get ready to bear the huge storm of inflation this Ramadan like always. Even on the Sunday bazaars the prices of vegetables and fruits continued their upward spiral before Ramazan. A similar increase has been seen in the prices of kitchen items which are increasing for the last three weeks and the trend continued. The consumers complained that Sasta Bazaars could only be useful if prices were checked by the administration and stern action is taken against the profiteers.” A price increase before the Ramazan has become a hallmark in our society,” said a customer Altaf. He said prices were increasing since the last two weeks with no one to control them. He said, “hoarders are active and the city and provincial administration appear helpless before them again.”Meanwhile, chicken prices noticed upward trend ahead of holy month of Ramazan and was sold at Rs 195-225 per kilogram.The prices of red meat are already very high and the people who depended on white meat have now left with no option but to cook vegetables and lentils. A shopper at poultry shop said chicken was the only commodity, which people could buy and afford because of its low price. But, now, he said, “We are unable to purchase chicken meat due to its high rates.”Aqeel, a resident of Shamsabad, said he used to bring chicken meat thrice a week but now he cannot afford within limited income.A wholesale dealer said poultry cartel is active behind poultry prices. They fix poultry rates on daily basis. “We are at their mercy and the district administration is paying no heed to this end,” he added.A shopkeeper at Aabpara Market said hundreds of thousands of chicken have died due to the rising temperature. As a result, the chicken supply has dropped, where as demand for white meat is already up because prices of red meat is high,” he said.Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) attributed the steep rise in price of the commodity due to upsurge in its demand during fortnight.High prices have resulted in less domestic consumption of the poultry meat as it had negative impact on the buying capacity of a common consumer.