Monday, December 6, 2010

Prices show no sign of easing

KARACHI: As the implementation of proposed Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) will push up prices of various products, consumers paid higher prices for ghee, cooking oil, spices, milk products and other essentials in November.

However, the prices of flour varieties, pulses and rice had either remained stable or declined.

A price survey month-over-month revealed an increase of Rs100 in 16-kg ghee and cooking oil tins while producer of Dalda ghee had also raised the rates of five kg/litre ghee and cooking oil tin to Rs835 from Rs795.

The price of tetra milk one litre pack rose to Rs70 from Rs69. While Nido milk and Everyday Tea whitener rates had also climbed up. Since there is no retail rate printed on the Nido and tea whitener, retailers charge rate of their own choice.

In June 2009, the one litre tetra pack and one kg Nido milk was selling at Rs355 per litre and Rs340 per kg respectively. Fresh milk also went up by Rs4 per litre to Rs60 per litre from Rs56 per litre. In March, this year it was priced Rs52 per litre.

Taking full advantage of government`s ignorance on price check issue, the powerful dairy farmers and multinationals companies are fully cashing in on the situation.

Retailers said currently there was no GST on tetra and powdered milk but its price may go up in case the government imposes the 15 per cent RGST.

Red chilly whole rate had risen to Rs270 from Rs240 per kg while minced red chilly was selling at Rs280 per kg from Rs220. Black chilly rate swelled to Rs600 from Rs540 per kg while black cardamom (big) was now priced at Rs2,400 per kg as compared to Rs2,100. Packers of various spices had also pushed up rates.

According to general secretary Karachi Retail Grocers Group (KRGG), Farid Qureishi, the price of pulses like masoor (whole and washed) and arhar remained unchanged while the price of moong washed had plunged to Rs140 from Rs160 per kg. Gram pulse rate fell to Rs78 from Rs80 per kg.

He said sugar was selling at different rates. Imported sugar was available at Rs72-75 per kg against the official rate of Rs71 per kg. The locally produced sugar was available between Rs85-90 per kg. Many retailers were found selling adulterated sugar at Rs85-90 per kg claiming it as locally produced sugar.

Consumers had paid Rs120-140 per kg sugar in the second week of last month.

Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association (KWGA) Chairman Anis Majeed linked the stability in pulses to its improved arrival in the markets coupled with thin demand in winter.

No big price fall was recorded in onion which was selling at Rs60 per kg as compared to Rs70 on November 23 while it had risen to Rs80 per kg ahead of Eidul Azha. Tomato was available at Rs40 per kg while potato rate (new crop) dropped to Rs25 from Rs30 per kg. Carrot and cucumber were selling at Rs20 per kg while lady finger at Rs50-60 per kg. Peas rate was Rs40 per kg.

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