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ISLAMABAD: Despite reduction in petrol and high-speed diesel oil rates, the prices of essential kitchen items have continued witnessing an increasing trend during this week past against the previous week, revealed a survey carried out by Business Recorder, here on Saturday.

The survey observed an increase in sugar price which had touched Rs 7,000 mark but now again has started going up as it was available at Rs 7,500 per 50kg bag in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold at Rs170 per kg. Within the past five months, wholesale sugar price witnessed an increase of Rs 4,000 per bag as it gradually went up from Rs 5,000 per 50kg bag to Rs 9,000 since July 2023. After crackdown against hoarders on September 7, 2023, the sweetener prices started declining upto October 1, 2023 as it reduced from Rs 9,000 per bag to Rs 7,000 but now has once again started going up. The trend shows that sugar industry is still profiteering at Rs 2,500 per 50kg bag or Rs50 per kg in the wholesale market, while in retail its price has witnessed an increase of Rs56 per kg.

Chicken price went down from Rs 14,500 to Rs 14,000 per 40kg in the wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs375 per kg against Rs385 per kg, while chicken meat is being sold at Rs660 per kg against Rs680 per kg. Egg price went up from Rs 8,000 to Rs 8,180 per carton, while in retail, eggs are being sold at Rs305 per dozen against Rs300 per dozen.

Wheat flour price remained unchanged as best quality wheat flour is available at Rs 2,100 per 15kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs 2,150 per bag, normal quality wheat flour bag is available at Rs 2,050 in the wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs 2,100 per bag.

Tea prices remained stable as Lipton Yellow Label is available at Rs 2,050 per 900 gram pack and Islamabad tea is available at Rs 1,600; powdered chilli price remained stable at Rs700 per kg, and turmeric powder price at Rs700 per kg.

The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) price witnessed an increase, as officially it is available at Rs270 per kg against Rs240.1 per kg, however, LPG traders are selling the commodity at their own set price in violation of the OGRA’s set price of Rs270 per kg as the distributors and retailers are selling the commodity in the range of Rs300-330 per kg. The OGRA has set 15kg domestic cylinder LPG price at Rs 4,150, while in the market it is available at Rs 5,000 per 15kg cylinder, reflecting an overcharging of Rs850 per cylinder.

Branded spices such as National, Shan, and others’ prices went up from Rs100 per pack to Rs120 per kg. Prepared tea cup at a normal tea stall is available at Rs70 per cup. The price of a cooked daal plate at a normal hotel is Rs250, cooked vegetable plate at Rs250, while roti price remained stable at Rs20 per roti, and naan at Rs30.

Rice prices witnessed no changes as best quality basmati rice is available at Rs 13,200, while the retailers are selling at Rs350 per kg, normal quality Basmati rice at Rs 10,500 per bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs300 per kg, and broken Basmati rice price is stable at Rs 9,500, which in retail is being sold at Rs230 per kg.

Ghee-cooking oil prices witnessed no changes as B-grade ghee-cooking oil price is stable at Rs 5,000 per carton in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs365-380. While best quality cooking oil-ghee brands such as Dalda ghee is available at Rs 2,790 and cooking oil at Rs 2,850 per 5-litre bottle. However, it is observed that retailers in different parts of the cities are free to charge their own as there is no check by the price monitoring committees.

Pulses prices witnessed an increasing trend as best quality maash went up from Rs570 per kg to Rs620 per kg, gram pulse from Rs280 per kg to Rs320 per kg, whole gram pulse is being sold at Rs440 per kg against Rs380 per kg, prices of various varieties of bean lentils witnessed an increase as it went up from Rs350-400 per kg to Rs450-500 per kg, moong price remained stable at Rs320 per kg, and masoor at Rs320 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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