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PESHAWAR: Prices of essential food commodities — including vegetables, pulses, sugar, edible oil/ ghee, flour, live chicken/ meat and fruits — are on the high side despite the recent reduction in prices of petroleum products, a survey conducted by Business Recorder on Sunday revealed.

Consumers complained that traders and shopkeepers have been charging high rates in the absence of a price-checking mechanism and adequate measures by the local administration officials concerned.

“Prices of vegetables and other daily-use items have largely gone out of the reach of common people,” said Ajmal Ahmed, a buyer, while talking to this reporter.

The short survey revealed that one kilogram of onion was being sold at Rs220-250 while ginger was priced at Rs400-450 and garlic at Rs300-400 per kg. However, the price of tomato has gone down to Rs50-60, owing to fresh arrival of the commodity from the villages near Peshawar. It was being sold at Rs200-250 per kilo a few weeks back.

Cucumber is being sold for Rs50 per kilogram, green chili for Rs150-180, and lemon for Rs120-150 per kg. A bundle of raddish is available at Rs100-120.

Peas are being sold at Rs120-140 per kg, capsicum at Rs120, tinda at Rs80, arvi at Rs150, ladyfinger at Rs150-200, cabbage at Rs80, cauliflower at Rs80, bitter gourd at Rs150, long gourd at Rs80-100, brinjal at Rs80, turnip at Rs80-100, seasoned potatoes at Rs80, fresh red-coloured potatoes at Rs50-60, and white-coloured potatoes at Rs40 per kg.

The prices of pulses/ food grains have largely remained unchanged in the market. Good quality (sela) rice is being sold at Rs300 per kg while low–quality rice is available for Rs270-290 per kg.

Daal mash is being sold at Rs400 per kilogram, daal masoor at Rs280, daal chilka (black) at Rs260, daal chilka (green) at Rs220, daal moong at Rs200, dhoti daal at Rs280, daal channa at Rs260, white lobiya at Rs220-240, and gram flour (besan) at Rs180-200- per kilogram.

The price of sugar has increased to Rs100 per kilo. Previously it was selling at Rs85 per kg, showing an increase of Rs15. However, the prices of cooking oil/ ghee have remained stable as no increase or decrease was witnessed in the market.

Flour prices have also remained stable as a 20kg bag of flour is available at Rs2250 and that of Danedar flour at Rs2100 while bags of other brands were being sold at Rs1500-1700 to Rs2,000. The price of an 80kg sack of flour has remained unchanged at Rs8060, the survey revealed.

Consumers told this reporter that bread makers have been continuously reducing the weight of ‘roti’, and the commodity has almost become unaffordable for most buyers.

One kilogram of live chicken/ meat is being sold at Rs295 in the local market, the survey showed. Prices of farm eggs have largely remained unchanged as they are being sold at Rs300 per dozen. Chinese eggs are being sold at Rs450 and those of non-farm hens at Rs500 per dozen.

The price of cow meat is Rs700 per kilogram, and that of buffalo meat Rs550-600. Mutton, on the other hand, is available at Rs1400-1600 per kilogram.

The survey showed that bakers have increased the prices of sweets and confectionery items, owing to what they called “high prices of Maida (fine flour)”.

The prices of fresh fruits have also increased, making it difficult for most buyers to buy them in reasonable quantities. Red apple imported from Afghanistan is being sold at Rs250-300 per kg, golden-coloured apple at Rs200, pomegranate at Rs200-250, persimmon at Rs150, guava at Rs150 per kg, muskmelon at Rs300-400 per piece or Rs100 per kg, and Banana at Rs90-100 per dozen.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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