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Sugar ‘vanishes’ from market as retailers refuse to sell at govt rate

Rawalpindi : ‘Sugar’ has vanished from the open market because retailers have refused to sell the commodity in loss. Over 80 per cent consumers are wandering here and there in search of sugar but failed to get the commodity from open market in city and cantonment board localities here on Friday.

Notices have been pasted by majority of shopkeepers informing consumers that they had stopped selling sugar or sugar was not available at the shop.

The senior representatives of Rawalpindi General Stores Welfare Association including Nasir Shah, Muhammad Zubair, Akhtar Khan, Dil Nawaz, Rashid Mehmood Shaikh, Muhammad Saddiq, Sajid Mehmood and several others told ‘The News’ that they are purchasing 1-kilogram sugar at Rs106 from the wholesale market. How we could sale it at Rs85, they strongly denounced. They also said that local management is continuously harassing them by registering FIRs and by imposing fines on regular basis therefore they have decided to stop selling sugar.

No doubt, local administration has increased sugar points in the city and cantonment board localities but only 15 per cent consumers are getting benefit. Over 80 per cent consumers could not reach ‘Ramazan Sasta’ Bazaars and sugar points to purchase the commodity. Majority of consumers buy sugar from retail shops on higher prices on regular basis but commodity was not available in shops for four days.

All Pakistan Traders Association (Punjab) President Sharjeel Mir said that sugar vanished from open market. “How retail shopkeepers could sell 1-kilogram sugar at Rs85 while they are buying the commodity at Rs106 from wholesale market,” he said. The local management forcefully insisting retail shopkeepers to sell the commodity in loss, therefore retail shopkeepers stopped sugar selling, he claimed.

If government really wanted to provide any kind of relief to public, they should send 5-kilogram packet in every house according to Rs85, he said. “Government is only joking with innocent public and seeing the helplessness of people with closed eyes,” he strongly condemned.

Hundreds of shopkeepers were fined while price magistrates registered cases against others with different police stations. Following the action, the retailers stopped selling sugar in their shops and demanded the district administration to fix the price as they would not buy the commodity at high rates and sell it at a lesser price.

Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rawalpindi Captain (r) Anwar-ul-Haq said that shopkeepers will sell sugar at Rs85 otherwise they will face strict action. Punjab government has fixed price of 1-kilogram sugar at Rs85 in retail shops. “We are following the directions of Punjab government in this regard,” he claimed. He has advised public to visit sugar points or ‘Ramazan Sasta’ Bazaars to purchase the commodity on subsidized prices.

Talking to ‘The News’ people belonging to different walks of life strongly criticized government policies and said that they were wandering here and there in search of sugar but in vain. They said they could not stand in long queues to buy sugar. They want to buy sugar with respect and dignity, people said.

Sidra Bibi, a poor lady said that sugar was neither available in ‘Ramazan Sasta’ Bazaars/Utility Stores nor in open market shops. Where should we go to buy the commodity, she denounced.

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