ISLAMABAD: The prices of essential kitchen items have witnessed a mixed 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 which went down from Rs6,900 per 50kg bag to Rs6,700 per bag, while in retail sugar is being sold at Rs145 per kg.

Chicken price went down from Rs12,600 per 40kg to Rs12,200 per 40kg in the wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs335 per kg against Rs340 per kg, while chicken meat is being sold at Rs540 per kg; egg price went up from Rs10,700 per carton to Rs11,000 per carton setting a new record of all time high prices, while in retail, eggs are being sold at Rs380 per dozen against Rs370 per dozen.

Wheat flour price remained unchanged as the best quality wheat flour in wholesale market is available at Rs2,100 per 15kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs2,150 per 15kg, normal quality wheat flour bag is available at Rs2,080 against Rs2,100 per 15kg bag in the wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs2,110 per bag against Rs2,130 per bag.

Tea prices witnessed an increase as traders told this correspondent that suppliers of Lipton Yellow Label have intimated them of increasing the prices of their brand from Rs2,150 per 900gram pack to Rs2,800 per 900 gram pack and Islamabad Tea is available at Rs1,800 per kg; powdered chilli price went up from Rs600 per kg to Rs750, and turmeric powder price went up from Rs550 per kg to Rs700.

Owing to an announcement of an increase in domestic gas prices the tandoor owners have already increased the roti price by Rs5 per roti from Rs20 to Rs25, naan price from Rs30 to Rs35 and paratha price from Rs45 to Rs50.

The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) price remained unchanged, as officially it is available at Rs274 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 Rs4,210, while in the market it is available at Rs5,000 per 15kg cylinder, reflecting an overcharging of Rs790 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.

Rice prices remained stable as best quality basmati rice is available at Rs12,000 per 40kg bag, while the retailers are selling it at Rs350 per kg, normal quality Basmati rice at Rs10,000 per 40kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs270 per kg, and broken Basmati rice at Rs9,000 per 40kg bag, which in retail is being sold at Rs250 per kg.

Ghee-cooking oil prices witnessed a declining trend as B-grade ghee-cooking oil price went down from Rs5,100 to Rs5,050 per carton in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs340-360 per 900 gram pack. While best quality cooking oil-ghee brands such as Dalda ghee’s price went down from Rs2,500 per 5kg tin to Rs2,380 and cooking oil from Rs2,600 to Rs2,450 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 Rs280 against Rs250 per kg, and masoor at Rs260 per kg against Rs320 per kg.

No changes were observed in fresh and packed milk prices as small pack of Milk Pak is available at Rs75 per pack, litre pack at Rs270. 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 a mixed trend. Ginger price in the wholesale market went up from Rs1,700 per 5kg to Rs1,850, which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs400-450 per kg against Rs380-400 per kg, local garlic price went down from Rs1,900 per 5kg to Rs1,800 in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs400-450 per kg against Rs470-500 per kg, and China garlic price went up from Rs2,650 to Rs2,800 per 5kg in the wholesale market, which in retail is available in the range of Rs570-610 per kg against Rs550-600 per kg.

Potato prices witnessed a reduction as it is available in the range of Rs175-375 per 5kg against Rs350-500 in the wholesale market, which in retail are being sold at Rs45-90 per kg against Rs55-100 per kg, tomato prices went down from Rs1,600 per basket of 15kg to Rs1,250 per basket in the wholesale market, which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs85-120 per kg against Rs110-160 per kg, and onion price remained stable at Rs500-750 per 5kg, which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs125-175 per kg.

Capsicum price went up from Rs950 to Rs1,050 per 5kg in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs225-250 per kg against Rs210-250 per kg, the prices of various varieties of pumpkin went down as they were available in the range of Rs400-700 per 5kg against Rs650-700, which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs100-160 per kg against Rs145-170 per kg; tinda price went up from Rs450 to Rs500 per 5kg which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs120-140 per kg against Rs100-110 per kg; brinjal price went up from Rs300 to Rs350 per 5kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs90 per kg against Rs75-85 per kg; cauliflower price went up from Rs350-400 per 5kg to Rs600-650, which in retail is being sold in the range of Rs140-150 per kg against Rs100-120 per kg, and cabbage price went up from Rs300-350 per 5kg to Rs500-550 which in retail is being sold at Rs120-130 per kg against Rs75-90 per kg. Bitter gourd price is stable at Rs750-800 per 5kg which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs175-200 per kg and cucumber price went down from Rs320-350 to Rs200-250 per 5kg which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs60-65 per kg against Rs85-90 per kg.

Radish price went up from Rs130 per 5kg to Rs150-200 per 5kg which in retail is being sold at Rs45-50 per kg against Rs35-40 per kg; turnip price went up from Rs200 per 5kg to Rs300-350 which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs80-90 per kg against Rs55-65 per kg, yam price went up from Rs600-650 per 5kg to Rs700-800 which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs160-190 per kg against Rs150-160 per kg, peas price went up from Rs450 to Rs650 per 5kg which in retail are being sold in the range of Rs150-160 per kg against Rs100-120 and fresh bean price remained stable at Rs700 per 5kg and in retail are being sold in the range of Rs160-170 per kg.

Fruit prices also witnessed a mixed trend as the best quality Kala Killo apple is available at Rs325 per kg against Rs300 per kg and normal at Rs150 per kg against Rs110 per kg, best quality golden apple at Rs180 per kg against Rs200 per kg and normal at Rs100 per kg, best quality white apples at Rs150 per kg against Rs170 per kg and normal at Rs100 per kg.

Bananas price went down as bananas are available in the range of Rs70-130 per dozen against Rs80-145 per dozen; best quality guava is available at Rs130 per kg against Rs150 per kg and normal in the range of Rs65-80 per kg against Rs75-100 per kg; Gaja apples are available in the range of Rs150-250 per kg against Rs190-270 per kg; oranges are available in the range of Rs90-150 per dozen with special fruiter at Rs150 per dozen is the most expensive and normal quality musami at Rs90 per dozen, the cheapest; pomegranate are available in the range of Rs250-370 per kg; and various varieties of grapes are available in the range of Rs160-350 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 a 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 percent 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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