ISLAMABAD: The Government should take necessary measures immediately to control prices of basic food items of which consumption increases during Ramadan.
Government should gather all information about demand and supply status of the essential items before Ramadan and device a proper strategy to control prices of essential food items during Ramadan-Ul-Mubarik, demanded Yassar Sakhi Butt, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) during a meeting at Chamber House.
ICCI President said that in every Ramadan, Government provides relief to the consumers through Utility Stores but it is matter of concern that only small percentage of consumers has access to these relief centers which neutralizes the positive aspect of this package. To curb this situation in coming Ramadan regular supply of products should be made sure to keep the prices under control, he maintained.
He was of the view that any further increase in prices of essential item would add further to the woes of people already affected by power outages, water shortages and high transport costs. ICCI President called upon the Government to strictly control market prices during Ramadan through proper monitoring the operations of sasta bazaars for providing adequate relief to the common man.
Yassar Sakhi Butt was responding to the reports that the purchasing power of common people has been shattered in recent years by more than 20 percent mainly due to 95 per cent increase in prices of food items within four years. He said that Government must take measures to stop further increases in food prices as prices of milk, pulses, oil, ghee and vegetables have already gone out of reach.
He cited the example of Qatar, Kuwait and UAE, where the concern ministries have started preparations for the holy month of Ramadan to control the prices of various products, especially food item to make them affordable to everyone.
ICCI President said stressed the Government to ensure availability of food items in Ramadan at low rates by setting up maximum sasta bazaars for providing relief to the messes at large.