As the festival of Eidul Fitr neared, traders continued enjoying the benefits of a free-market economy in their favor, with prices of tomatoes increasing by around Rs10 on a daily basis to cross the Rs200 per kilogram mark.
These high tomato prices were not only visible at the retail end in the twin cities but also at the controlled rate Sasta bazaars organized by the district administration of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in their respective jurisdictions and the weekly bazaars managed by the Municipal Corporation Islamabad.
Tomatoes at the controlled rate bazaars were selling at Rs44 per kg on April 24 and almost doubled to Rs84 per kg by April 29, and made another 100 percent jump to Rs160 per kg on May 1. A similar trend was witnessed for onions in controlled rates weekly bazaars.
Incidentally, the price control mechanism at these bazaars managed by the government functionaries could not check sellers' intent. Tomatoes were being sold Rs10 higher than the official rate at the Peshawar Mor Sunday bazaar and the Sasta bazaar at Shamsabad.
[ Rs100 = €0.51 ]