AIRLINK 78.61 Increased By ▲ 5.08 (6.91%)
BOP 4.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.43%)
CNERGY 4.03 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.5%)
DFML 36.48 Increased By ▲ 0.39 (1.08%)
DGKC 88.25 Increased By ▲ 1.70 (1.96%)
FCCL 22.29 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (1.41%)
FFBL 30.15 Increased By ▲ 0.14 (0.47%)
FFL 9.18 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
GGL 9.92 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.61%)
HASCOL 6.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-2.24%)
HBL 105.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.01%)
HUBC 137.50 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.04%)
HUMNL 10.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.93%)
KEL 4.64 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (3.34%)
KOSM 4.00 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.25%)
MLCF 37.13 Increased By ▲ 0.43 (1.17%)
OGDC 119.19 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-0.18%)
PAEL 23.98 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.04%)
PIBTL 6.07 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.33%)
PPL 114.05 Increased By ▲ 1.55 (1.38%)
PRL 23.17 Increased By ▲ 0.36 (1.58%)
PTC 12.20 Increased By ▲ 0.30 (2.52%)
SEARL 59.05 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (1.11%)
SNGP 61.98 Increased By ▲ 0.87 (1.42%)
SSGC 9.76 Increased By ▲ 0.11 (1.14%)
TELE 7.67 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (1.59%)
TPLP 9.48 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.63%)
TRG 63.72 Increased By ▲ 0.62 (0.98%)
UNITY 26.85 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.19%)
WTL 1.30 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.78%)
BR100 7,583 Increased By 39.5 (0.52%)
BR30 24,238 Increased By 202.6 (0.84%)
KSE100 72,797 Increased By 207.9 (0.29%)
KSE30 23,213 Increased By 76.4 (0.33%)

Eid is just around the corner. There is the usual complaining about rising prices and the shop-keepers taking undue advantage of the sudden surge in buying spree to make hay while the sun shines. I see no restrain on either side. The buyers are in the market buying on full throttle and the vendors too full speed ahead on prices raising them as the demand increases. A character that usually goes unnoticed in this melee is the tailor.

Gone are the days when young girls would sit up late at night stitching their Eid dresses guided by their mothers and at times even their grand-mothers. Now it is not only convenient but fashionable too to get all dresses stitched by the local tailors who make hay while the sun shines at such speed that dazzles the eyes.

Only five years ago a normal dress with no remarkable design or innovations costing just around Rs.500 now costs double the amount and if there are any fancy features the cost can go even higher. Are there any attempts by the customer to rein in the runaway prices of the tailor master as he or she is popularly known by their customers? Not that I know of and the absence of any such resistance is evident from the fact that the most sought after tailors put up boards after even 15 days of the holy month of Ramazan, announcing that their hands are now full and they have enough orders to last them till this Eid, so new orders will not be taken. Accept it that this is a seller’s market where the seller sets the tone and price and the buyer has no option but to agree and dole out as much cash as is demanded.

What about ready-to-wear dresses? Don’t even talk about it unless you are rolling in money. I see many harassed parents walking with their wards in and out of shops with such lame excuses for their children insisting on buying a certain dress or shoe as “Come I know a better place who has much more attractive items that you will really like“. Reluctantly, the children follow the father both in a predicament. One restrained by lack of monetary facilities and the other unrestrained by his or her desires and remembrances of goodies bought by friends as that is the hot topic among friends these days.

The holiday season is a trying time for parents with restrictive incomes or in jobs that do not provide any extra income during this period. No need to actually name any particular jobs that enjoy this facility. Most are well known and have been subject of news and dramas but have faithfully adhered to collecting what they term as Eidi throughout this month thus to some extent are able to keep up with the buying spree. There is the other side of the coin.

These are people who resolutely restrict themselves to what they earn. Every year in the beginning of the holy month they come up with novel schemes to somehow turn the tide in their favour. The most common and announced every year with great gusto is the avoid fruits campaign.

Honest upright people fed up with rising prices declare that everyone stop having fruits during the first few week of the holy month forcing shop keepers to reduce their prices to reasonable pre-Ramazan levels. Every year the campaign ends in failure. With little patience and even less organization it is not long before people start buying fruits at available prices.

The situation in Pakistan is often compared to the situation in a holiday season say like New Year and Christmas in western countries. We are told that prices in holiday season in these countries are actually slashed rather than raised.

True but the fact is that these are well organized societies with suitable laws and their strict enforcement by well entrenched organizations and government agencies who are focusing on the welfare of the common man rather than on collecting Eidi or any other such handout. Also what the businessmen lose in terms of price they make up in terms of volume which is increased several times over in this holiday season.

Strong consumer organizations with a battery of lawyers also pursue the interests of consumers and ensure fair play to save consumer interests. Nothing regrettably is organized here and we have to wait and organize ourselves if we want the same protection as in the other countries we keep mentioning.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Zia Ul Islam Zuberi

The writer is a well-known columnist


Comments are closed.