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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Consumers change eating habits as food prices soar

By Our Correspondent
September 24, 2023

Rawalpindi : Prices of fruits and a number of vegetables witnessed a rise in Rawalpindi’s kitchen markets, with almost all vegetables becoming costlier per kg compared to last week. Apart from this, the price of grocery store products today is not the same as before.

“Buyers say prices of all items are increasing due to a lack of government monitoring. The price of everything is high in the market. Last week, I bought apples at Rs200, today I had to buy them at Rs250. If the government had monitored properly, vendors would not have been able to raise prices so hastily,” says Mehdi Hasan. “Since the prices of everything are high, I have to eat less. When I ask vegetable vendors about the reason for the price hike, they say that the prices increased due to flooding in different areas,” says Salma Hasan, a household wife.

Zafarul Hasan, a vegetable vendor, discontinued his sales due to the exorbitant prices. He says, “Vegetable prices are so high that I could not buy them today from the Mandi. Despite usually having a variety of vegetables in my shop, I am unable to make any sales today. I cannot stay in business any longer.” “The prices of different products were set, but vendors are charging high not adhering to the fixed price. The public is suffering due to price hikes as almost all vegetables, along with fish, meat, and eggs, have become costlier in kitchen markets. The most affordable vegetable is also high in city markets, forcing people to make changes in their eating habits,” says Mohib Ali.

“Consumers say all items are getting out of their reach, which is making them reconsider their household budgets. At kitchen markets, nearly all vegetables are being sold at high prices,” says Fazeelat Shabbir. “The price of everything in this market is high. Middle-class people like us have to recalculate their household expenses. I cannot imagine how those with lower incomes than us are doing,” says Kabir Hussain, a customer.

“We had to cut down on our food expenses. In the past, I could afford to eat meat for 10 days a month, but now I can only do it for five days. That is how much I have cut the expenses,” says Saleem Raza, a customer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The current situation is such that I cannot decide between buying fish or meat, as both are expensive. I used to consider switching to fish if meat prices were high, but now even that is not even an option,” says Farid Ali, another customer.