Srinagar, Mar 20: On the eve of Nowruz – the Persian New Year celebrated by various ethnicities worldwide including Kashmir – the traders here said they were expecting good business but witnessed sluggish sales. The festival is being celebrated on Tuesday, March 21.
Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Mohammad Yaseen Khan said that amid the economic slowdown, they have pinned their hopes on all festivals which generally witness an increase in sales and purchases. “However, this time we did not witness any positive change in the market,” he said.
He said festivities are filled with happiness, and the traders on these occasions expect an upsurge in sales. “But to our disappointment, nothing of that sort happened ahead of Nowruz,” he said, adding that despite the opening of gardens and Ramadan around, the sales are not picking up.
Meanwhile, many people complained of overcharging and alleged that there was no market checking in place by the authorities.
“Chicken, mutton, fish, and nadur (lotus stem) are being sold at higher than the government rates,” Gulzar Ahmad Dar, a Srinagar resident said, adding that there should have been market checking squads to ensure items are sold at the government-approved rates.
Another person said the rate of chicken a few days ago was Rs 140 and now is being sold at Rs 160. “Nadur was sold at Rs 200 and now at Rs 250; and during the late hours, it may get even costlier. Nothing is being done to stop this illegal profiteering,” he said.
Reacting to the people’s allegations, Director Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kashmir, Dr Abdul Salaam Mir said that market-checking squads are already in place and will act if any complaint is received from anywhere.
“Market checking squads are already on the job to check on illegal profiteering and the quality of products and eatables. If any complaint is received against anyone and found involved, immediate action will be taken,” he said. (KNO)
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