May 8, 2009, 7:51 AM
Public Express Concerns Over Rising Prices of Goods
As Muslims all over the world enter yet another month of Ramadan, concerns as to the rising prices of basic commodities especially during this holy month continue to occupy the minds of many.
The holy month of Ramadan, seen by many as a month of blessing, has in recent times seen the highest increase in the prices of commodities especially sugar and rice.
Well, taking a stroll in and around the streets of Serrekunda yesterday, our reporter caught up with some members of the general public who have expressed serious concerns, calling on the government to take urgent action.
According to one Maimuna Ndow, a vendor at the Serrekunda market, "As Muslims, we should see this month as a month that we can use to earn ourselves more blessing from Allah the Almighty. We should be reasonable enough to enable the poor to enjoy this month. We are not equal and knowing that, one should be willing to share with the needy."
For one Aji Yamoundow Ceesay, this is different. "Despite being in the month of Ramadan, I will maintain my prices as they are. I bought some of my goods at very exorbitant prices before this month, so I don't see any reason why I should bring down my prices. I intend to continue to sell my goods on my own price".
As explained by one Ousman Camara, the month should not be seen as a moment to profiteer but rather as a month to earn more blessings from God. "Yes business is business but we should be reasonable enough at certain times. Businessmen should not use this as an opportunity to make more money to the detriment of the poor and the needy," he said.
In the view of one Mustapha Manneh, Muslims should make best use of the month rather than committing more sins for themselves by selling their goods at more than the reasonable selling price. "We should not be bent on making more profit during this period. We should try to get ourselves closer to the Almighty Allah by doing what is right and not otherwise".
A businessman, who wants to remain anonymous, said the general public should also understand that the business community consists of human beings and therefore have to survive. "We set up our own businesses to help ourselves and our families. The public should not just look at their interest but rather the interests of the business people." "Skyrocketing prices have been a long problem in this country and people should not only think that prices should go down at this very month. This has been a long problem and I believe the only thing that can at least alleviate the situation is for government to intervene. Mere talk will not do anything about this. Urgent action by government is the only solution especially in this holy month," said one Oumie Nyang of Dippa Kunda.