Consumers aghast, appeal FCS&CA deptt to take action; Will intensify market checking, says Director
Srinagar, Jan 21 (KNO): While the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department (FCS&CA) department is actively taking action against the mutton dealers for not adhering to the government fixed rates, the exorbitant rates of fruits here have pushed the people to the wall as the authorities concerned have failed to check the market rates of fruits and other eatables, leaving the consumers to lurch at large.
The consumers across the Valley are lamenting the concerned department’s inaction for not ensuring the implementation of set rates on fruits, saying that skyrocketing prices are beyond the reach of a common man.
“Not just the healthy people, the fruits are also meant for most of the patients at homes or at hospitals, but given the high prices of fruits, purchase has become very difficult for a common man,” said a group of aggrieved people in Srinagar.
People from different parts of the valley told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that to afford fruits for an average family has become beyond the reach, and that the government announced fruit rates exist only in papers.
Questioning the high prices of fruits, Mohammad Ramzan, a Carpenter by profession said, “If Srinagar-Jammu national highway continues to remain open for vehicular movement for the maximum time this winter, then why the rates of essentials especially the fruits have increased suddenly.”
In retail markets, oranges are sold at as high as Rs 250 per dozen, while Pomegranates are sold at a Kilo from Rs 150 to 250, Bananas are sold at the rate of 100 per dozen, and the price of grapes ranges from 150 to 300 per Kilo.
Similarly, there are other fruits that are sold in the market at exorbitant rates, making it difficult for common man to purchase.
According to the latest rates issued by the department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department on 29 December 2022 on their website, the price per Kg of pomegranate is Rs 150 a Kg while the rate of green grapes is set as Rs 120 a Kg and that of Red Grapes rate is set as Rs 270.
Similarly, the rate for first-grade oranges is set at Rs 130 and the rate for second-grade oranges is fixed at Rs 90.
“It is very difficult for me to buy a kilo of Pomegranate or oranges as the price of the fruits is out of reach for me. It is not even easy to purchase other fruits easily as the prices are so high,” said Nazir Ahmad, a salesman.
“There is no enforcement of government rates as far as the sale of fruits is concerned in the retail market, a fruit seller makes no scope for any bargain, and says the fruit rates are higher from the Mandi,” he said.
Responding to the reports Director of FCS&CA, Dr. Abdul Salam Mir told KNO that their teams are already checking the rates in the market, however, he assured that they will intensify the inspection in the markets to curb illegal profiteering, if any.
“There are already teams constituted across the valley who regularly check the market rates of fruits and other commodities, but since this is coming to our notice, we will intensify the market checking and those who will be found selling fruits or other commodities at high rates, action will follow against them”, he said—(KNO)