Poor law and order : Demand
of dates falls to 35 percent
KARACHI: In the wake of poor law and order situation in Lyari area, trading activities have plunged to more than 35 percent in the Lea Market where the largest dates’ wholesale market of the country is situated.
As a consequence, date traders and importers have suffered colossal financial losses as majority of their stocks is lying unsold in their storage houses giving them sleepless nights.
Talking to the scribe, leading dates importers vented their frustration and annoyance over the prevailing situation in the wholesale market regarded as hub of dates sales and purchase in the country as prior to the commencement of the holy month of Ramazan, businessmen and traders from all over the country flock to the place for making bulk purchases amounting to millions of rupees.
But this year unending cycle of violence and mayhem specially in Lyari town between different gangsters and news regarding exodus of large segment of the population from the place to interior Sindh have deterred traders from different parts of the country from visiting the largest wholesale market of the dates during the current year.
Consequently majority of the bulk volume imported by the traders and wholesalers before the advent of the holy month has been lying unsold in their godowns and warehouses.
Majority of traders now prefer to visit Quetta and other parts of the country to make their desired purchases instead of taking the risk of visiting Lyari town areas now regarded as the most dangerous place in the country.
Even local buyers in view of the prevailing poor law and order situation in the city in general and in Lyari town in particular appear reluctant to visit the place to make low cost purchases and instead they were observed buying dates of their choice from retail outlets at higher rates.
Citing instances of losses suffered by the dates importers and traders, Hanif Punjguri, a leading date importer and general secretary of the Khajoor Merchant Association informed the scribe that previous years total import of dates remained in the range of 2,000 tonnes to 3,000 tonnes out of which majority was sold out until the mid of the holy month of Ramazan.
But during the current Ramazan, the overall sale in the local market has slumped to more than 35 percent and with prevailing lacklustre activities in the market, there appears remote prospects that the sale situation would gain momentum.
He urged the government to give rebate to the dates importers sand traders as already they are subjected to heavy taxation by the government.