With the advent of the winter season, the demand for dry fruits has been increased in the city with a remarkable prices hike as compared to the last year. Due to the change of weather in the city, the demand for dry fruits has started increasing and the prices have also gone up gradually. The shopkeepers of dry fruits in different markets of the city have significantly hiked the prices because there was no proper check and balance on rates and missing rate lists by the market committees. The peanuts were being sold in the city market at Rs400 to Rs600 which was Rs240 to Rs300 per kg last year, varieties of Almonds at Rs1200 to Rs2400/kg, Pistachio with and without shell at Rs2400 and Rs3000/kg respectively, varieties of Walnut at Rs1000 to Rs1800/kg, dried-up dates at Rs300/kg to Rs400, Pine nut (Chilgoza) at Rs5000/kg, cashew at Rs2400 to Rs3000 while dried apricots were being sold at a price of Rs1200 to Rs1800/kg. The shopkeepers of dry fruits have raised prices of dry fruits and charged exorbitant rates as there is no mechanism to control the prices of such items by the district administration and market committees. A dry fruit shopkeeper Muhammad Nawaz told this news agency that the dry fruit dealers use to store dry fruits, which resulted in a shortage of the commodities in the market and a price hike. He, however, maintained that this is only one reason for the price hike. The prices of dry fruits including Almond, pistachio, walnut, Pine nut (chilghoza), date, cashew nut (Kaju), apricot and peanut increased in the winter season as these are mostly demanded items, he added. Another shopkeeper Saleem Khan told that due to the high prices of dry fruits, the sale of these items had been decreased up to 50 percent as compared to the previous year. He said that he used to purchase these items from the open markets with high prices and he was selling these items with a low margin. He said that the daily sale was Rs10000 to Rs15000 last year which was now decreased to Rs5000 to Rs6000 daily this season due to low public interest in the purchase of dry fruits. Mian Akbar Ali, a citizen said that the high rates have made these items out of reach of the common man. He said that the shopkeepers and open market dealers have increased the rates for their own benefits. He suggested district government for taking strict action against the elements involved in artificial inflation by adopting zero-tolerance policy against them.