In the Muslim world, Ramadan is observed with one extremely common aspect which a number of countries follow: reduction in prices. However, when it comes Pakistan, the prices skyrocket either just before Ramadan or during it. The increase in the prices of FMCG products is a common practice in Pakistan.
Having that said, the common norm practiced in Pakistan is the prevailing increase in the prices of fruits and vegetables.
With ongoing dawatain and iftaariyan, our purchase of fresh stock, especially the fruits increases. With this comes an increase in the prices of fruits by our local sabzi walay and phaal walay. To get over this “unfair” increase in prices, a message on instant messaging application WhatsApp is floating from the past few days. Here’s what the message states:
“Consumer Rights Group across Pakistan have requested common people NOT to Buy Fruits on June 2, 3 & 4 2017 a protest against exorbitant price hike since the start of Ramzan shareef. A 3-day boycott will dent the seller for weekend premium price sale when most consumers does the weekly grocery for the household. It may sound tough but only YOU as a consumer can force the seller to be on knees, not everything is government job you too have a duty towards society and your fellow countrymen, make the wise choice be an active part of the campaign. Share with your family & friends across all groups in Pakistan.”
And The Message Started Spreading Like Wild-Fire!
— Hina Safdar (@hinasafi) June 1, 2017
This Message Is Stirring The Pakistanis Who Are Trying To Bring Some Logic To The Table!
“I’m not gonna buy fruits from thelay walas”, tweeted Ali from his overly priced iPhone 7.
— Junaid Akram (@junaidakram83) June 1, 2017
People won’t spare to spend a few extra rupees on fruits from a poor man but spend thousands on iftar deals and branded clothes this Ramadan
— Faris (@StuckInAMatrix) June 1, 2017
On an average, the iftar buffet costs around Rs. 1300 – Rs. 1500 (including tax), out of which most of the food items go to waste since many cannot a lot right after iftar. Think about what you are doing here.
Rari wala : janab Fruit 50 rs kilo
You: 5 kam kr lu
Sir bill 450
You : ye lu 500 and keep the change
But boycott Buying fruits
— i r f a n (@IffiViews) June 1, 2017
This Cracked Me Up, Tbh!
— i r f a n (@IffiViews) June 2, 2017
Yeah, boycott fruit walas. How dare they make a profit of 100%! Buy from grocery stores and brands which make profit of 300%
— Saad Amjad (@SaadAmjad_) June 2, 2017
The picture, however, is bigger than this. The purpose of this boycott is to strike against the suppliers who initially sell these fruits at a higher cost to the vendors during this time of the year. However, the suppliers won’t be the ones affected by this boycott as we are punishing the vendors who are just following the inhumane protocol which takes place every year.
We as Pakistanis need to learn how to take action keeping a broader perspective in mind. Perhaps the Consumer Rights Group, which I am sure many haven’t heard about, needs to up their game and focus on the bigger picture by addressing the root cause of the every year increase.