In Pakistan, although being an Islamic state, traditionally fruits and vegetable prices at the advent of the Holy month of Ramadan went spiraling high by 80/100 percent. More than 25 daily commodities like sugar, rice, pulses, chicken, beef, mutton, vegetables and fruit prices have shot up in local markets.
Like past, this year also the government appears to have flopped in controlling the prices even before Ramadan. The country is already in the grip of hyperinflation, while the advent of Ramadan has further aggravated the situation taking the prices of fruits and vegetable sky-high and much beyond the purchasing power of the common man.
Wholesalers and retailers, particularly of fruits and vegetables, enjoyed a free hand to fleece the consumers in Holy month despite of all the claims of officials. The price of Flour is already raised by 5 to 8 Rupees per Kg. Dates are available from 100 Rs to 150 Rs a Kilo while Chicken is being sold at around 240-260 Rs. Besan is regularly used in Ramadan for making Pakoras for Iftar and its price now days is around 58 to 64 Rs a Kilo. Yogurt is being sold at 64 to 68 Rs while a liter of milk costs 45 to 58 Rs (show a discrepancy for fresh and tetra packs). Sugar prices have broken all the previous records and it has been sold at 54 to 64 Rs per Kg. There are reports about shortage of these commodities also. Utility Stores are unable to supply the desired amount of commodities and unavailability of products is causing nuisance. Despite of being honest and helpful at least in Holy month the retailers exploit the needs of public in Ramadan. Even the lower middle class person tries to eat nutritious fruits daily but how can they afford such prices?
According to a report by Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) there is an increase in prices of various commodities over a period of month.
The main commodities which showed an increase in their prices in July 2009 over June 2009 are as under:
Food: Potatoes (29.33%), tomatoes (28.39%), eggs (20.37%), vegetables (17.32%), mash
(14.59%), chicken (9.83%), moong (8.87%), gram whole(6.94%), onions (6.93%), gur (4.91%),
masoor (4.48%), gram split (3.25%), fresh fruits (3.08%), food prepared/preserved(3.02%), oil
cakes (2.91%), wheat flour (2.50%), tea (2.46%), meat (1.86%), sugar refined (1.72%), wheat
(1.69%), rice (1.42%), beans (1.33%) and besan (1.06%).
Raw materials: Cotton seeds (2.72%) and tobacco (2.09%).
Fuel, lighting & lubricants: Furnace oil (2.68%).
Manufactures: Woolen textiles (2.10%) & nylon yard (1.28%).
Building materials: Iron bars & sheets (5.39%), pipe fittings & sanitary wares (1.21% each) &
glass sheets (1.14%).
The main commodities which showed a decrease in their prices in July 2009 over June 2009 are as under:-
Food: Cotton seed oil (1.81%), vegetable ghee (1.77%), bajra (1.43%), jowar (1.14%) and
Raw materials: Cotton (5.28%) & hides (1.30%).
Fuel, lighting & lubricants: Natural gas (4.46%), motor sprit (2.69%), diesel oil (2.55%) &
kerosene oil (2.43%).
Manufactures: Fertilizers (1.30%).
There is a hope to have an announcement from PM Gilani about the price hike matter soon but it’s implementation is a hard nut to crack. From now it seems that people have to get ready to bear the huge storm of inflation this Ramadan like always.
Image Source: Jang.com.pk