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ISLAMABAD: Following a reduction in petrol, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices, the prices of essential kitchen items have started declining during this week past against the previous week, revealed a survey carried out by Business Recorder here on Saturday.

The survey observed a mixed trend in the prices of vegetables, declining trend in the prices of wheat flour, pulses, and sugar; increasing trend in chicken, eggs, fruits, while stabilizing trend in ghee/cooking oil, cooked food items, fresh milk, yoghurt, spices, pulses, and tea prices.

The survey observed an increase in chicken price as it went up from Rs 8,200 to Rs 8,600 per 40kg in the wholesale market, which in retail, is being sold at Rs285 per kg against Rs270 per kg, while chicken meat price went up from Rs400 per kg Rs430 per kg. Eggs prices went up from Rs 6,750 per carton to Rs 7,000 per carton of 30 dozens, while in retail, eggs are being sold at Rs250 per dozen against Rs245 per dozen.

Wheat flour prices witnessed a reduction as the best quality wheat flour price in the wholesale market went down from Rs 1,620 per 15kg bag to Rs 1,600 per bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs 1,630 against Rs 1,650 and the normal quality wheat flour bag price went down to Rs 1,560 per 15kg bag from Rs 1,580 per 15kg bag which in retail is being sold at Rs 1,580 per bag against Rs 1,600.

The survey observed that retailers are charging their own prices in all the parts of the cities owing to dysfunctional price monitoring committees. Moreover, special price control magistrates have also left the people at the mercy of profiteers.

People have complained that the government of Punjab-sponsored wheat flour is not available in the market, following a significant increase in the commodity prices. Traders told this correspondent that the government of Punjab has not yet started supplying them the subsidized wheat flour, adding that before arrival of Pervez Elahi government, Punjab government was providing subsidized wheat flour bags to retailers, but for past one month the new administration has halted the supply as a result poor people are facing serious hardships.

On most of the Utility Stores Corporation-operated outlets shortage of wheat flour is still persisting as the stores are unable to cope with the demand following the government of Punjab’s decision.

Sugar price declined to Rs 4,050, which in retail is being sold at Rs90-95 per kg, while some retailers are selling at Rs100 per kg.

Rice prices also remained unchanged as the best quality Basmati Rice price is available at Rs 11,200 per 50kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs290 per kg, normal quality Basmati Rice at Rs 9,000 per 50kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs245 per kg and Broken Basmati rice price is stable at Rs 5,500 per 50kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs170 per kg.

Ghee and cooking oil prices remained stable as B-Grade ghee/cooking oil is available at Rs 5,500 per carton, which in retail is being sold at Rs390-400 per pack. While best quality cooking oil-ghee brands such as Dalda, Sufi, and others are available at Rs 2,550 per 5kg pack against 2,700 per 5 kg tin.

Overall pulses’ prices witnessed decrease during the week under review as best quality whole gram is available at Rs320 per kg against Rs350 per kg, fine quality maash at Rs380 per kg against Rs400, the best quality lentil at Rs300 per kg against Rs330 per kg, best quality bean lentil at Rs300 per kg against Rs350 per kg, moong at Rs240 per kg against Rs275 per kg, and masoor at Rs300 per kg against Rs320.

No changes were witnessed in tea prices as Lipton Yellow Label is available at Rs 1,300 per kg pack. Fresh milk and yoghurt prices remained stable during the week.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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