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Put a check on prices

Effective measures imperative to check over pricing and profiteering
12:00 AM Apr 03, 2024 IST | GK EDITORIAL DESK
put a check on prices
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Even during this holy month of Ramadhan the prices of essential items shot up in several markets.

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While the prices should be stable and no profiteering resorted to as a matter of good business ethics, in this holy month one would have expected some degree of empathy towards the people; hence less rates. But quite the opposite is being witnessed in the markets.

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No respect is being shown to the rates fixed by the government. These rates are being violated in broad day light and consumers made to pay through the nose. Now that the Eid related preparations are about to begin in some days, the prices may go up further.

Reports say that not all shopkeepers indulge in this practice but a vast section of them do. The skyrocketing of prices is not something new. It does happen throughout the year and mostly during festival times. The closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway only adds to the problem.

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This malpractice is happening since there is no permanent mechanism in place to check it. Sometimes a team of the concerned government department visits some market and checks the rates. But such checking is not done on a regular basis, and doesn't cover all markets.

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There is a shortage of manpower in the department, hence a limit to such activities. So there is a need to strengthen the concerned department in terms of human resource. Secondly, and more importantly, most consumers easily get ready to buy food items on exorbitant rates.

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They do not insist on buying the items on government fixed rates. As conscious consumers, people should lodge complaints with the concerned departments and not fall prey to the exploitation by some shopkeepers.

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If the complaints are lodged on large scale and action taken satisfactorily, it can put a check on such practice. Otherwise consumers will continue to buy essential commodities on higher rates.

If shopkeepers have some genuine complaints regarding fixing of rates, they must take up the matter with concerned authorities and not raise prices on their own.

The rates can be revised based on genuine inputs from the markets. But doing it arbitrarily is unethical and violation of regulations.

There is an immediate need to strictly end this trend of unjustified price hike.

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