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Thursday, 18 June 2015 09:14

Pakistan: Food prices increase ahead of Ramadhan

Pakistan: Food prices increase ahead of Ramadhan

The price of gram flour (baisin) has touched new peak of Rs120 from Rs90-93 per kg last month in Pakistan owing to its rising demand ahead of the blessed month of Ramadhan.

 

According to Dawn News, among other commodities, prices of fruits, vegetables, sugar, pulses and rice also witnessed an increase.

The price list issued by the Commissioner of Karachi, which is effective from June 16-30, 2015, carries the gram flour retail price of Rs58 per kg.

Last month, gram pulse was available at Rs85 per kg which rose to Rs90 per kg in May and since then it maintains an upward trend.

Now gram pulse rate hovers between Rs100 and Rs110 per kg in various areas but the commissioner is forcing the retailers to sell it at Rs58 per kg.

Sugar price now ranges between Rs62 and Rs64 per kg as compared to Rs60 per kg last month. The current official rate of sugar is Rs61 per kg.

Kabuli channa white and black are priced at Rs100 and Rs120 per kg as compared to their control rate of Rs75 and Rs55 per kg, respectively. Last month these items were available below Rs100 per kg in retail.

Syrups and juices, which are widely used in Ramadhan, are being sold in black, and consumers are paying Rs10 more on various brands.

Retailers said the companies have not increased prices but due to tight supply and high demand, wholesalers are demanding Rs1,760 for 12 bottles of Rooh Afza (800ml) for the last three days as compared to Rs1,680. Jam-e Shireen carton is available at Rs1,760 as compared to Rs1,700. As a result, 800ml bottle of Rooh-i-Afza and Jam-i-Shireen is being sold at Rs160 as compared to Rs150 a few days back.

Overcharging is also rampant on 1.5 litre bottles as wholesalers are selling six-bottle pack at Rs1,620 as compared to Rs1,520. Retailers are charging Rs280 for 1.5 litre bottle as compared to Rs270.

According to figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), import of overall pulses during July-April 2014-15 went up to 525,622 tonnes ($322 million) as compared to 390,742 tonnes ($240 million) in the same period of the last fiscal year.

The official rate of kernal basmati rice is Rs127 per kg but retailers are demanding over Rs140-150.

The official rates of various varieties of rice vary and there is a difference of Rs20 to 40 in their prices.

The price list has been issued with the consultation of Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association, Jodia Bazaar Traders’ Association, Karachi Retail Grocers Group, Bureau of Supply and Prices, Consumers’ Associations and civil society, but a vast gap exists between official and market rates.

SS

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