Srinagar, Jun 3 : As the countdown for Eid-ul-Fitr has begun, shops, particularly selling bakery and confectionery, across Kashmir valley, including in summer capital Srinagar, wore a festive look as people have come out in large numbers to shop.
However, there are no fixed prices of any commodities and items, which are being sold by the traders and vendors at higher rates as imposition of fines by authorities has had no impact on profiteering in the valley.
Despite fast in view of Ramzan, people since early Monday morning thronged to markets to get their last minute shopping done. Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated across the country on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on sighting of the crescent moon.The markets have been specially decorated and the shops have lined up their merchandise to woo customers into buying the goods.
Bakery and confectionery establishments are also witnessing brisk business for the last couple of days. According to reports, the people in Kashmir valley are buying bakery and confectionery worth several crores of rupees. “The sales have been high as usual by the grace of God. People, particularly during Eid-ul-Fitr, like to buy bakery and confectionery in good quantity as bakery shops will be closed for the next four days from Eid,” a bakery owner Laif Ahmad Sofi said.
As some roads witness heavy traffic jams, customers said they prefer to shop during the evening when the weather is pleasant and the rush of shoppers is less during that time.Roadside vendors have also set up their stalls from court road to Lambert Lane, Regal Chowk, though it has badly affected the traffic movement on the busy historic Lal Chowk road.
However, despite claims by the government that profiteering is being checked, the traders and shopkeepers are selling goods at higher than the rate set by authorities. The authorities have imposed fine worth lakhs of rupees on shopkeepers and business establishments across the valley though the move has had hardly any effect on profiteering.
Butchers are charging Rs 500 per kg of meat, despite authorities recently revising the rate and setting it at Rs 420. However, Shabir Ahmad, a butcher in Srinagar, alleged that they have to give bribe of Rs 60,000 to Rs 80,000 to officials per truck, carrying sheep. “First of all, we have to pay extra tariff of Rs 20,000 per truck as it takes a driver several days to ferry sheep to Kashmir valley due to bad road conditions. On top of that, we have to pay a bribe to officials, then only the trucks are allowed to move towards the valley,” he further alleged.
A kg of Chicken which was being sold at Rs 115 to Rs 120 is being sold at Rs 160. Similarly, the rates of vegetables has also gone up many folds. (UNI)