LAHORE: In an unusual development, the T20 cricket match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka caused a drop in retail prices of fruits and vegetables in the cricket crazy nation, Pakistan Today has observed.
A random survey of Shadman Sunday Bazaar on Sunday revealed that many retailers were selling fruits and vegetables at lower than official prices. They were selling apples at Rs100 against official price of Rs120, pomegranates at Rs120 against Rs150 and mosambi (sweet lime) at Rs80 per dozen against Rs100. Some frustrated retailers were seen offering banana at Rs30 per dozen while official price was Rs50.
The average price of vegetables was Rs40 per kg in Shadman Sunday bazaar which was Rs50 on last Sunday. Tomatoes were selling at Rs108 per kg and onions at Rs75 per kg. Unripe tomatoes were selling at Rs90 per kg. However, tomatoes disappeared from the market after 12 noon and they were selling outside the bazaar at 150 per kg.
A vendor named Mubarak Ali said that there is a low rush of people in the Sunday bazaar due to the cricket match, causing them to sell fruits and vegetables at lower prices.
“We are offering more discounts on prices to the consumers as we too are in a hurry to sell vegetables and go to our homes and enjoy the match,” he said.
“T20 match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Sunday depressed our sales,” the angry retailers said. They added that they had stopped lifting fruits from the wholesale market.
Market Committee Inspector Riaz Bhatti said that retailers and vendors have dropped prices because the officials of city district government took strict action against profiteers. “The prices of tomatoes and onions will be controlled once supply is improved,” he said.
The cricket teams of Pakistan and Sri Lanka arrived here in the early hours of Sunday morning amid tight security to play the third and final match of the T20 series in a historic moment for the nation. Both the teams safely reached their hotel from Allama Iqbal International Airport.
Sunday’s game marked the homecoming of top-level international cricket as Sri Lanka becomes the first major cricket team to visit Pakistan since they were targeted in a deadly ambush back in 2009 — with attack survivors among those returning to the scene.