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July 15, 2019

Overcharging by shopkeepers at bus terminals

Islamabad

July 15, 2019

Passengers are a long-suffering lot as eatables, drinks and various items are being sold at inflated prices by shop and kiosk proprietors at the Rawalpindi bus terminals.

“They are selling their items at much higher rates than the notified retail price. In addition, food items are sold in the open and some are stale and of inferior quality,” complain passengers.

Rasheed Turabi, a passenger at Faizabad Bus Terminal, says: “Overcharging at the city bus terminal has become a routine affair and passengers can be seen purchasing items without inquiring about the prices. If a passenger tries to negotiate with a shop owner about the price, he ends up entering into a verbal row with him.”

Kalbe Razi at Pirwadhai Bus Terminal alleges that the city authorities have failed to keep a check on the shop and kiosk owners selling items at very high prices. “We have never seen any checking on the bus terminal premises to stop vendors charging hefty prices,” says another passenger Ali Salman.

“A mineral water bottle, cold drink, cup of tea, snacks are being sold at higher prices by shop owners. Similarly, the chips packet,” says Raziq Ali, a passenger at Swan Bus Terminal. Sadiq Hussain and Lashkar Ali, shop and eatery owners respectively at the Daewoo Bus Terminal say: “We have to pay a high rent for our shops. If we do not increase the prices of our items, it will become very difficult for us to pay monthly rent.”

“Like city markets most shopkeepers at the bus terminals neither display government price lists nor do they sell items at notified rates. Despite the issue having been highlighted in the media many times, the practice is going on unchecked. As per the rules, shopkeepers at the bus stand cannot charge more than notified retail price,” says Shahid Rizvi, a passenger at Defense Chowk.

Syed Ali Ahkter Rizvi, a passenger at Faizabad Bus Terminal, says: “Shopkeepers and stall owners even near the local bus stands like Faisal Movers, Skyways, Niazi Travels, and Kianat Travels on Peshawar Road continue to overcharge passengers. Perhaps they take them as sitting ducks.”

“The shopkeepers and stall owners at the local bus stands and terminals have been indulging in this practice for a long time now. As the passengers or their relatives visiting the bus stand coming to see them off are often in a hurry, they have no choice but to buy the eatables on increased prices,” says Mohsin Naqvi,

Passengers have demanded from the regulatory authorities that they should stringently instruct the shopkeepers not to overcharge passengers and visitors and they should also keep a regular check on erring shopkeepers and kiosk holders.

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