A sharp increase is registered in prices of almost all kinds of essential daily use items, including vegetables, fruits and other groceries, as retailers and traders squeezing customers by charging with manifold rates on the eve of ritual festival of Eid-ul-Azha.
According to survey conducted by Business Recorder, it is noted that the prices of most of groceries items along with vegetables, fruits, flour and other foods, have gone up to 70 to 80 percent in retail market. The spiralling prices of essential commodities of daily use have dampened Eid festivities, forcing the households to shrink grand parties and other lavishly food expending every month. The increase in prices of essential commodities could pinch consumers in this festival season. However, traders and retailers feel the current prices are deterring consumers from making big purchases.
Tomato is being sold at Rs 100 to Rs 120 per kilogram, which was available at Rs 50 to Rs 60 three days ago, because of rising demand of the commodity on this special Eid, while rate of ginger has also increased at Rs 300 per kilogram from Rs 200 per kg, and garlic available at Rs 150 per kilogram, against Rs 120 per kg. A five-kilogram high quality onion is available at Rs 300, which was selling at Rs 200 during last week. Green chilly is being sold at Rs 200 per kilogram against Rs 120 per kg.
Similarly, the five-kilogram red potato is being sold at Rs 330 against Rs 250 in the retail market. The price of cauliflower is increased at Rs 60 and Rs 80 per kilogram against Rs 40 per kg, ladyfinger from Rs 30 to Rs 50 per kg, goured from Rs 40 to Rs 60 per kg.
Shimla mirch from Rs 160 to Rs 240 per kg, cabbage Rs 100-120 per kg, peas at Rs 120 per kg, Arvi at Rs 50 to Rs 60 per kg, tinda at Rs 40 per kg, ladyfinger at Rs 50 per kg, cauliflower at Rs 50 per kg, Kaddo at Rs 40 per kg, brinjal at Rs 30 per kg, Karela at Rs 40 per kg, and Turnip at Rs 40 per kg. Cucumber is available at Rs 50 per kg, and lemon is sold at Rs 140 per kg.
The high trend is also witnessed in pulses side, as prices were registered 20 to 30 percent increase in these commodities, while retailers and vendors are not selling pulses/grains as per official prices in open market. The daal maach is available at Rs 120 per kg, Daal masoor at Rs 110 per kg, Daal channa at Rs 70 per kg. Rice high quality is being sold at Rs 130 and low quality at Rs 90 per kg, while tota rice is available at Rs 70 per kg. Moonge is being available at Rs 120 per kg, Malaka masoor at Rs 130 per kg, moonge tota at Rs 120 per kg. Sugar is being sold at Rs 55 per kg, Baisen at Rs 90 per/kg against the official price of Rs 70 per kg.
The chicken meat is being sold at Rs 190 per kg against the official price of Rs 141, while live chicken with good weight available at Rs 320 and low weight at Rs 270-280 in the open market, and egg is available at Rs 84 per dozen. Similarly, a sharp increase is witnessed in all fruits items in the wholesale and retail markets. Banana is being sold at Rs 70 per kg, and apple at Rs 100-150 per/kg. Grapes are available at Rs 160-180 per kg, and apricot at Rs 240-200 per kg.
“Is there any check and balance of the surging prices of daily use items, which is beyond the purchasing power of common man?” asks Jamil Ahmad, a government servant, while buying apple at a pushcart in Hashtnagri market Peshawar. Traders and retailers say the prices shoot up due to increasing prices of petroleum, resultantly increasing the transportation charges and other expense. There is no shortage of stock, but in the meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation Peshawar assigned special duties to administrators to visit different markets and check both quality and prices of various items. According to the officials of MCP most of the employees have gone on Eid leaves. That’s why the vendors and shopkeepers have started fleecing the customers with both hands, he added. The official said that administration has arrested 10 bakers for overcharging customers in different areas of Peshawar including Dabgari Garden, Beresko Gate and Kohati Gate. They would remain behind bars during Eid, he added.