Power load shedding, price hike in flags, buntings take toll on Independence Day celebrations
August 12, 2011
Unending prolonged power load shedding coupled with price hike in basic raw material, used for making badges, flags and buntings have put severe below on celebrations of the independence day and the retail markets are showing a deserted look, it is learnt.
Traders at Light House, a major wholesale market for flags, buntings, badges, caps and Pakistani flag painted shirts said that the government has completely failed to stop the increasing price hike that is mainly hurting seasonal business on independence day.
They said that prices of basic raw material like steel and silver have increased causing price hike in badges, caps and similarly girls earrings.
“Only a few days are left to the August 14 celebrations but still there is no customer rush in markets”, Sarwar a trader said, however shops were packed to capacity till last year, he claimed.
An average increase of Rs 20-30 has been witnessed in the prices of medium and large size flags, as flags are priced at Rs 150-180 as compared to Rs 120-150 last year, he said.
Similarly, the prices of buntings and badges have also gone up as compared to last year as they are being sold at an average Rs 40 and Rs 80 respectively, he added. The worsening law and order situation coupled with price hike in basic celebrations goods have badly affected the seasonal business, he said.
The unusual demand for buntings and flags in white and green colour decorating stuffs has practically exhausted the supply, and as a result the figures on buntings to wholesalers have been advanced 15 percent, and upward. This to regular customers. Occasional buyers have not been dealt with so leniently, and for them prices have ranged from 50 to 100 percent, above the ordinary rates.
A printing press owner said that due to unending prolonged power outages in the city the orders for flags and buntings are hardly being met, creating shortage in the market and increasing the price too.
“Purchasing of flags, buntings and badges are declining year to year because of increasing inflation and declining people purchasing power”, Jameel Paracha, Vice Chairman, Alliance Markets Association said.
He said that this is moment of concern that the government is not taking any serious step as this is independence eve and the nation awaits this moment to celebrate for a whole year.
The government should take serious steps to control this ever-increasing price hike so that the nation could feel itself independent at least on the occasion of independence day.
Amir, a resident of Old City Area said that this is unfortunate to see that only because of government independence day celebrations sprit has ending in nation as government is not taking step to control price hikes.
People in Pakistan used to celebrate Independence Day on 14 August with great sprit and enthusiasm. Pakistani flags were flying all over the country, national anthem was playing in every car, every shop, and on every television channel and the overall atmosphere in Pakistan was very patriotic and celebratory till some years ago.
But, this is unfortunate to say that the enthusiasm and sprit have been depressed by these social issues. The government does not seem controlling any of the people issue, similarly the case of price hike and continuous electricity load shedding has taken its toll on the celebrations of August 14 this year.
“I don’t see any national flag in the biggest city of the country, where I live, but I everyday observe plenty of flags of different political and religious parties in various nooks and corners of the city”, Amir expressed his regret concern over prevailing situation.
It is pertinent to mention that country’s flag is the flag of the Crescent and the Star, Parcham-e-Sitara-o-Hilal, which depicts multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-religious society of the country.
It is also unfortunate that at the time of independence day celebrations, people prefer to carry the flags of their political parties rather than the national flag. Even in UK and Australia, Pakistanis hold flags of their respective political parties instead of country’s flag particularly during Cricket matches.
Majority of people in our country hoist our national flag on the top of their homes. Some of them on vehicles and few like to place it at their work places, other than government offices and some other national institutions, as identifications of state organs.