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KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muhammad Idrees, while expressing deep concerns over rising inflationary trend ahead of Ramazan ul Mubarak, has appealed Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to immediately call a meeting of Price Control Committee so that effective strategies could be devised and stringent measures adopted to control the skyrocketing prices of most of the household products and commodities.

“The situation desperately calls for strict action; otherwise, the ongoing inflation tsunami was going to break the backbone of the poor masses. We fear that Karachiites are going to face another severe wave of inflation as profiteers and hoarders have started their illegal activities to maximize profitability by raising prices and creating artificial shortages of various household products and commodities,” he said

President KCCI pointed out that prices of most of the household goods/ commodities have been raised by the profit-hungry shopkeepers who give an excuse that these have been raised due to exorbitant hike in petroleum prices and imposition of taxes but it was a well-known fact that taxes have not been imposed on all the household goods. “In addition to taking strenuous action against hoarders, the government must also take strictest action against profiteers who are fearlessly looting the poor masses due to weak mechanism for enforcement of rates”, he said, adding that there was a time when prices of various commodities were raised in months but nowadays, these were fearlessly being raised within a matter of days due to bad governance.

“Devising an effective price control mechanism carrying final rates along with profit margin of each and every single household product along with its strict implementation across-the-board has become inevitable so that the already perturbed and totally overburdened public could be provided some relief in the holy month of Ramazan,” he stressed, adding that committees can be formed for this purpose in which representation must also be given to market associations.

Muhammad Idrees was of the opinion that although there was an impact of rising petroleum prices but it has been observed that many shopkeepers simply raised the prices of essential commodities on their sweet wish, and raised them to a greater extent as compared to the upsurge in fuel price which was totally unfair. “Various cases have been reported to this Chamber wherein the price lists of Commissioner’s Office were being completely ignored not only by shopkeepers but also by some of the well-known departmental stores. Hence, the implementation strategy for price control must be revisited and effectively enforced so the flagrant looting could be brought to an end.”

He noted that although Commissioner Karachi has directed Deputy Commissioners of all districts to take every possible administrative measure to stabilize the prices of essential commodities but it seems that the DCs are asleep as none of them have bothered to pay any attention whereas the inhabitants were mercilessly and fearlessly being looted and the situation has worsened to such an extent that it has become almost impossible even for the middle-class segment of society to meet their domestic expenditures.

He hoped that the Chief Minister Sindh will consider this matter at the earliest by immediately summoning a meeting of price control committee which must be attended by all stakeholders so that a proper plan of action could be finalized and implemented on war-footing basis to provide relief to the poor citizens.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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