There was an upsurge in prices of essential vegetables, especially Eid-specific items like onions and tomatoes, as shopkeepers continued profiteering and hoarding.
Talking to this correspondent, consumers said profiteers were active in the markets even before Eidul Azha. They further increased the prices of onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
It was observed that tomatoes available at Rs80 per kg last week was sold during Eid days at Rs130 per kg. However, vegetable traders said due to the increase in use of the commodity the prices had jacked up. The official price of onion was registered Rs55 per kg while it was sold for Rs80 to 100 per kg. The rates of tomato were fixed at Rs95 to 105 per kg but it was sold at Rs120 to 140 per kg.
Ginger was sold at Rs140 per kg against Rs80 per kg while garlic china was sold at Rs120-140 and garlic local at Rs160 per kg against Rs80 to 90 per kg, respectively.
Coriander was sold at Rs200 to 240 per kg while the vendors also sold some 100 to 200 grams bundle at Rs30 to 40 per bundle. Similarly, mint bundle was sold at Rs20 to 30 per bundle. Carrot price was Rs18 per kg while it was sold at Rs40 to 60 per kg and radish white was sold at Rs40 per kg against the rates of Rs20 per kg. Radish red was sold at Rs40 per bundle.
Cucumber rates were Rs55 per kg while vendors charged Rs80 per kg for it. Salad bundle was sold at Rs30 to 40 per piece.
Similarly, the huge overcharging was witnessed on fruits. The rates of pomegranate were Rs135 per kg while it was sold at Rs180 per kg. These prices were decided by the wholesalers and retailers themselves, with no regulating body to keep a check on them. It was observed that most vegetable retailers did not display a government rate list and those who did, refused to implement the rates.
Dr Sabir Ali, a resident of Wah Cantt, said the government did not want to control the prices. Asma Rani, a resident of Haideri Town, said it had become very difficult for her to cook because of the high prices of vegetables.
Haji Sufian Masood, chairman of the local vegetable market, said the rates of vegetables were further increased during the three days of Eid as supply remained almost suspended.