CHITRAL: People here have complained that outlets of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) lack essential commodities such as sugar, cooking oil, pulses, wheat flour, syrups, jams, etc in the absence of regular replenishment of stocks by its headquarters.
They said that Ramazan was drawing nearer and the utility stores in Chitral were virtually empty. They said that the outlets had been opened in almost all the hundred village councils of the district.
Sajjad Ahmed, nazim of Jughoor village council, said that the people were forced to buy essential commodities, including sugar and pulses, at higher prices from the local market. He praised the incumbent government for increasing the number of utility stores, but criticised it for its failure to ensure availability of stocks.
He said that the people of low income group benefitted from the utility stores by buying essential items at lower prices, particularly during Ramazan.
He said that people preferred the USC items of ghee, cooking oil, syrups, jams and other edibles for their low price and quality.
When contacted, USC regional manager Shafiq Ahmed confirmed that no fresh stock had been sent to the region for the last one and a half months while the stock in the district warehouse had been exhausted.
He said that fresh stock of essential commodities would likely reach Chitral areas in the first week of Ramazan.
Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2018