As the countdown for Eid-ul-Fitr has begun, the 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 those responsible for market checking were missing.
Despite fast in view of Ramazan, hot and humid weather, people since early Thursday morning thronged to markets to get their last minute shopping done. Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated across the country on Friday or Saturday, depending on citation of crescent moon.
The markets have been specially decorated and the shops have lined up their merchandise to woo customers into buying the goods. However, sluggish sales were witnessed in readymade garment shops.
"The sales are down as compared to previous years during the same period. Two main reasons are Goods and Service Tax (GST) and online sellers. People prefer to buy readymade garments and other such items online as they are cheaper and people can order it from the comfort of their homes," Shabir Ahmad, a shopkeeper in Lal Chowk, told UNI.
Ahmad said if a customer purchases an item of Rs 100 from him with a GST of 28 per cent, the customer ends up paying Rs 128. But, he said a similar item can by purchase online for a better deal with additional benefits.
But, bakery and confectionery establishments are witnessing a brisk business from the last couple of days. According to reports, the people in Kashmir valley have purchase 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 told UNI.
As some roads witness heavy traffic jams, some customers said they prefer to shop during the evening when the weather is pleasant and the rush of shoppers lessens during that time.
Roadside vendors have also setup 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 on higher than the rate set by authorities.
Butchers are charging Rs 420 per kg of meat, despite authorities recently revising the rate and setting it at Rs 380. A kg of Chicken which was being sold at Rs 115 to Rs 120 is being sold at Rs 140. Similarly, the rates of vegetables have also gone up many folds.
UNI ABS JW1610
-- (UNI) -- C-1-DL0433-1402516.Xml