Ramadan and HoardingBy Haris Hashmi • Aug 16th, 2009 • Category: Politics, Worth A Second Look • 3 Comments
Ramadan is the month of fasting and hoarding. Market mafias, wholesalers, retailers and shop-keepers; everyone chucks extra profit from the faithful in all the edible items. One gets to know that Ramadan is approaching well before its moon sighting as the prices of everything surge to a whooping measure. In total disregard to what Ramadan teaches, the market mafia takes hoarding, profiteering and black-marketing up many notches.
Ramadan marks the superficial increase in prices of essential items. Every year the same vicious cycle gets repeated. Every year, just before the Ramadan markets become devoid of sugar, flour, ghee and other common food items, and as Ramadan starts, hoarders start pumping the items steadily and slowly into the market at their decided prices. Government has no control over the markets whatsoever. There is no consumer complaint center and the consumer courts are inactive. Monitoring of the market and prices at the government level is literally non-existent and corruption is rampant.
The current sugar crisis is just a tip of the iceberg. Trading Corporation of Pakistan in connivance with the sugar mill owners who also enjoy the heavy political clout has created this artificial shortage of the sugar and billions have been made so far. Though the Punjab government has done well and have recoevered millions of sugar bags from the hoarders overnight, the question is why they didn’t act proactively to avoid such a pain to the masses. Still, the flour, and the other food items are steadily vanishing from the market, and its high time that the government must take advance action.
Merely recovering the sugar bags is not enough. The perpetrators of such henious crime must be brought to the justice. For instance, Kamran Khan of Geo television network has done well to expose this scandal, but he must also take name. Why don’t they tell us the names? We must know who is exactly and precisly involved in this scam? Who are those sugar mill owners and who are their patron political figures?