As soon as the holly month of Ramadan was commenced so the prices of the commodities began to increase. People have hobson’s choice to purchase things on the price, they are forced to pay. The shopkeepers set the price-rate according to their own will and often they sell the products defying the price imprinted on the article. Because of hoarding and black marketing, an artificial shortage of commodities is created by the market players which causes price hike as a result.
The essence of writing throws light on main causes of price hike in the holy month of Ramadan and it shares the possible solutions of this crumbling front. It will also explain the current situation of market with some illustrations while taking into consideration the public response to the market forces. Finally it will discuss the measures adopted by government and their corollary.
Hoarding and black marketing are the core reasons of price-hike. Traders extract unlawful and unethical benefits by selling commodities on a price higher than the original one. For this end, they start hoarding in the earlier months of Ramadan. They create artificial shortage of some products in the market by storing these products at cheaper rates. All the hoards are solely purchased by them and later on they sell it according to their own rates. As a corollary people are victimized by over charging and extra profiteering. That particular commodity cannot be acquired from anywhere else in the market, so people can do nothing but to purchase it on offered prices.
Hegemonic monopoly in fruit market counts much in price hike during Ramadan. The main traders get unite to make a consensus for maximum price rate on fruit products. As the use of fruits is inevitable to restore energy in Ramadan, so people are exploited for fulfilling their dire need. If government tries to cope with the situation the traders go on a strike and as a result, people face fruit shortage.
Most of the markets do not have retail price list mechanism. The shop-keepers are free to do well with their personal stakes. The proportion between demand and supply of grain, sugar, chilliy and other products is disturbed and it seems that they are a law unto themselves.
During the first week of Ramadan, markets have represented very deplorable condition in many cities. Sugar is being sold at 80 rupees per kg while it has been 68/-to 70/-rupees per kg before the beginning of Ramadan and oil is being sold at 125 rupees per kg while it was 115/-rupees per kg. Prices of banana, apple, mango and grapes have increased with the ratio of Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 15 and 50 per kg respectively.
Poor check and balance by the government personnel on market system, is also another considerable cause of price-hike. Most of the markets lack price lists. Somehow if it is issued, it is not implemented fully. A chronic disease of sleaze in government institute also paves a smooth way for such deteriorated situation. Loose administration, poor policies and loopholes of check and balance system are key reasons of price hike at the behest of government.
The only panacea to solve the problem is the formation of renewed market control system. Efficient struggle of government personals can contribute well to confront the manipulated price-hike. Sudden and prompt visits of high profile ministry and bureaucracy can also be helpful to keep the things right. Market control inspectors should frequently examine each and every shop in their jurisdiction. There is a dire need to accelerate price control magistrate also, so that their presence and control may give relief to people. They should not only control the price-hike but also make it sure that all the commodities are being kept available in the market perpetually.

August 25, 2010 | Zia Saqib | No Comments | 346 views