Rawalpindi: The federal government announced a substantial reduction in the prices of petroleum products, the price of petrol was slashed by Rs12 per litre and diesel by Rs30 per litre. A big relief indeed! However, the local authorities have not issued a notification to lower prices of all kitchen items, transport fares, fruit and vegetable prices including ghee, cooking oil, and flour prices in this regard.
All kitchen items, ghee, cooking oil, flour, all kinds of vegetables, fruits, beef and mutton, milk, red chili, and bread as per routine were selling at skyrocketing prices. The transporters, local and long routes as per routine are looting passengers on both hands. The local transporters were taking Rs40 stop-to-stop and long route transporters were taking double fares, thanks to the local administration, Rawalpindi which seems to be in a deep slumber and has given a free hand of looters to loot the public with both hands.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also strictly directed local authorities to provide maximum relief to the public after the reduction in POL prices. But, district administration, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad have thrown out the directions of the Prime Minister in a bin and fully cooperating with the looters.
The District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) Secretary Rashid Ali told ‘The News’ that they were waiting for Punjab Transport Authority (PTA) directions to cut down fares. “We could not cut down transport fares without the directions of PTA,” he claimed. He also said that transporters should cut down fares after reductions of POL prices.
The transporters immediately increased fares by Rs50 to Rs100 with an increase in POL prices. When the government increases POL prices by Rs10 per litre but transporters increased Rs50 per ticket. The transporters increase fares without any kind of government permission.
Now, all transporters are continuously looting passengers while concerned authorities see the whole drama with closed eyes.
Whereas the tall claims of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner (Rawalpindi) were dashed to the ground because they completely failed to implement the official price list in the market. The government has directed local management to look into the matter to provide maximum relief to the public due to the cut in POL prices.
But, the local management has given a free hand to shopkeepers to loot the public as per routine.
The profiteers and hoarders did not cut down even a single rupee in rates after a reduction in POL prices.
As per routine, 1-litre of milk was being sold between Rs160 to Rs200, beef at Rs900 to Rs1000, mutton in Rs1800 to Rs2000, chicken meat at Rs760 and the vegetable sellers were selling one kilogram ‘Tenda’ at Rs240, Arvi at Rs300, Kaddoo at Rs120, ladyfinger at Rs160, Mattar at Rs200. The fruit sellers as per routine were selling one dozen bananas in the ratio of Rs250 to Rs400, apples in the ratio of Rs200 to Rs400, Aloo Bukhara at Rs500 per kilogram, watermelon at Rs50 per kilogram, Aroo at Rs200 and Khoobani at Rs300 per kilogram.
Similarly, as per routine, rice is being sold at the rate of Rs400 per kilogram, all kinds of washing powders, soaps, red chilli, salt packets, matchboxes, biscuits, bread, and other items are being sold at old prices.
“Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has time and again asked provincial governments to take steps to control prices at their end, but it seems the concerned authorities are taking his orders lightly,” said a disgruntled housewife, Yasmeen Zafar, a resident of Dhoke Syedan. She said that why the local management is not taking the matter seriously, why price magistrates are not visiting markets, and ‘mandis’ to control rates.
The locals of Rawalpindi belonging to different walks of life have appealed to Prime Minister and Chief Minister Punjab to take notice of the poor performance of district management. If Prime Minister and Chief Minister not taken notice, locals will come out on roads, locals warned.