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ISLAMABAD: The prices of essential kitchen items have witnessed 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 a reduction in sugar price as it went down from Rs 6,800 to Rs 6,200 per 50kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs135 per kg against Rs150 per kg. According to traders the sugar price are expected to reduce down to Rs 5,500 per bag within next few weeks.

Poultry traders told this correspondent that their union is going to start a protest drive against government’s anti poultry business policies from November 20, 2023. They said that the government was forcing the poultry industry to sell their produce even below the production price.

Chicken price went up from Rs 13,000 to Rs 14,000 per 40kg in the wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs375 against Rs350 per kg, while chicken meat is being sold at Rs600 per kg against Rs550 per kg. Egg price went up from Rs 9,200 to Rs 9,600 per carton, while in retail, eggs are being sold at Rs330 per dozen against Rs320 per dozen.

Wheat flour price witnessed an increase as the best quality wheat flour wholesale price is Rs 2,120 per 15kg bag against Rs 2,100, which in retail is being sold at Rs 2,150 per bag against Rs 2,100 per bag, normal quality wheat flour bag price went up from Rs 2,070 to Rs 2,100 per 15kg bag in the wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs 2,130 per bag against Rs 2,070 per bag.

Tea prices witnessed an increase as Lipton Yellow Label price went up from Rs 2,050 to Rs 2,100 per 900 gram pack and Islamabad Tea price went up from Rs 1,600 to Rs 1,750 per kg; powdered chili price remained stable at Rs700 per kg, and turmeric powder price at Rs700 per kg.

The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) price remained unchanged, as officially it is available at Rs270 per kg, however, LPG distributors and 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 remained unchanged at Rs120 per pack but the producers have reduced the volume from 43 grams to 39 grams. 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 have once again started increasing as best quality basmati rice price went up from Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000 per 40 kg, while the retailers are selling at Rs350 per against Rs320 per kg, normal quality Basmati rice price from Rs 10,000 per 40kg to Rs 10,500 per bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs290 per kg against Rs270 per kg, and broken Basmati rice price went up from Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,500, which in retail is being sold at Rs250 per kg against Rs200 per kg.

Ghee-cooking oil prices witnessed a mixed trend as B-grade ghee-cooking oil price went up from Rs 4,400 to Rs 4,900 per carton in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs340-360 per pack against Rs320-330. While best quality cooking oil-ghee brands such as Dalda ghee’s price went down from Rs 2,660 to Rs 2,450 per 5kg tin and cooking oil from Rs 2,780 to Rs 2,550 per 5-litre bottle.

Pulses’ prices remained stable as best quality maash is available at Rs530 per kg, gram pulse at Rs260 per kg, whole gram pulse at Rs370 per kg, various varieties of bean lentils are available in the range of Rs350-550 per kg, moong at Rs250 per kg, and masoor at Rs320 per kg.

Milk Pak and Olpers have increased the prices of their packed milk as small Milk Pak and other brands prices have been increased from Rs70 per pack to Rs75, while one litre pack is available from Rs260 per pack to Rs270 per pack. Fresh milk prices are stable at Rs200 per kg and yoghurt prices went up from Rs220 per kg to Rs240 per kg.

Detergents’ prices and bathing soaps’ prices witnessed no changes as Safeguard, Lux, and Dettol’s normal size bathing soap are available at Rs145 per pack and family pack at Rs170 per pack.

Overall, vegetables prices witnessed an increasing trend. Ginger price in the wholesale market went down from Rs 3,000 to Rs 2,200 per 5kg, which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs500-550 per kg against Rs700-750 per kg, local garlic price went down from Rs 1,750 per 5kg to Rs 1,600 in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs400-450 per kg, and Quetta garlic price went up from Rs 1,800 per 5kg to Rs 2,500 in the wholesale market, which in retail is available in the range of Rs570-600 per kg against Rs500-550.

Potato price went up from Rs400-500 per 5kg to Rs450-600 in wholesale market, which in retail are being sold at Rs110-150 against Rs90-110 per kg, tomato prices went up from Rs 1,200 per basket of 15kg to Rs 1,850 in the wholesale market, which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs135-170 against Rs110-130 per kg and onions price remained stable at Rs400-450, which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs100-120 per kg.

Capsicum price went down from Rs1,000 to Rs600 per 5kg in wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs135-160 per kg, the prices of various varieties of pumpkin went up from Rs400-500 per 5kg to Rs500-600, which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs135-160 per kg against Rs110-160 per kg, brinjal price went down from Rs600 to Rs350 per 5kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs85-100 per kg against Rs145-155, cauliflower price went down from Rs430-480 per 5kg to Rs350-400 per 5kg, which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs100-120 per kg against Rs120-140 per kg, and cabbage price is stable at Rs375 per 5kg which in retail is being sold at Rs90-110 per kg. Bitter gourd price went up from Rs430-470 to Rs500-550 per 5kg which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs125-140 per kg against Rs110-130 per kg and cucumber price is stable at Rs400 which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs95-110 per kg, tinda price went down from Rs750 to Rs600 per 5kg which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs135-150 per kg. Okra price went down from Rs450 per 5kg to Rs400 per 5kg which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs95-110 per kg against Rs115-120 per kg, turnip price went down from Rs430-450 per 5kg to Rs325-350 which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs90-100 per kg against Rs100-120, yam price went up from Rs500 per 5kg to Rs600 which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs150-160 against Rs120-130 per kg.

Bananas’ price remained stable in the range of Rs80-145 per dozen as the best quality bananas are available at Rs145 per dozen and normal quality bananas in the range of Rs75-100 per dozen to Rs80-125, best quality guava is available at Rs150 per kg against Rs180 per kg and normal in the range of Rs90-110 per kg against Rs110-120 per kg, Gaja apples are available in the range of Rs190-270 per kg, new arrival pomegranate are available in the range of Rs250-300 per kg, various varieties of grapes are available in the range of Rs160-330 per kg.

However, the survey observed that due to ineffective monitoring by the special price control magistrates and other relevant departments including assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners, the retailers are free to charge their own prices of not only vegetables and fruits but of other items too. Moreover, there is a serious difference between the official prices of various items and market prices. It is also observed retailers, vendors, and other sellers are not displaying official price list of household items at prominent place and are not even providing on demand.

According to traders, over the past few years continuous increase in fuel and utilities’ costs significantly contributed to increasing the prices.

They attributed around 20 per cent increase in the prices of all the items to increase in gas and electricity bills, traders are also forced to move up their margins to meet ever increasing expenditure from salaries to transportation costs and other miscellaneous expenses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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