Prices spiral with advent of Ramadan
JALALALABAD (PAN): With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, prices of essential items have once again shot up in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, residents complained on Thursday.
Dwellers said they deserved a cut in prices during the month, whose philosophy includes compassion, piety, integrity and sympathy, but were instead subjected a price hike that had no justification.
Mirwais Rahmani, a resident of Jalalabad, called for the municipality to take effective price-control measures. “Lemon is a common commodity, but it has seen an increase of 20 afs per kilo over the past two days.”
Similarly, he pointed to a 40 afs hike in ice block prices and took a swipe at the mayor for failing to deal with the situation. Price spiral during Ramadan is a common phenomenon that the authorities have been unable to address, according to Rahmani.
Sultan Aziz, a dealer in dates, also noted a spike in prices. The rate of one kilogram of dates has almost doubled, going up from 70 afs to 130 afs. “We ourselves are purchasing it at high prices and hence the increase…”
He went on to accuse certain traders of bulk purchases in the build-up to the holy month. The commodities were hoarded to create an artificial shortage in the market, Aziz alleged, saying the items were then sold at excessively high rates in Ramadan.
Shopkeeper Mohammad Nazir confirmed a 100afs rise in a five-litre cooking oil bottle. “By the same token, flour prices have also gone up by 150afs per bag,” he said, adding a 49-kg sack of sugar had seen a 200afs increase.
Consumer Bilal Karim told Pajhwok Afghan News price spiral during Ramadan had become a common practice -- thanks to negligence of the authorities. “If one shop is sealed and its owner brought to justice, no one will dare fleece consumers,” he believed.
Haji Shukrullah, a former head of the artisans’ association, agreed the rates of badly-needed stuff particularly shot up during the month. Beverages, milk, cream, etc, witness a substantial increase.
Manual worker Adil complained of shrinking employment opportunities on the one hand and prohibitively high prices on the other. He voiced his concern at the phenomenal rise in ice rates in the sweltering heat.
Provincial Council member Amir Zabit verified an average hike of 30percent in the prices of each commodity with the advent of Ramadan. He also blamed the government for failing to curb fleecing.
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