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Vegetable prices soaring like never before

Top Story

November 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: After exclusion of reviewing of prices from the list of first agenda item of every ECC of the Cabinet meeting, the prices of different sensitive food items have witnessed unprecedented escalation. 

The accurate data was not allegedly provided to policymakers so they took more time to come up with right of prescription well on time. The export to Afghanistan was banned after certain lapse because the policymakers were provided different data at different point of times. Meanwhile, the prices of wheat flour went up in domestic market.

Top official sources confirmed to The News on Monday that the ECC had abandoned to take up prices as first agenda item of the meeting from last few months after which the food prices witnessed escalating trends during the last few months. The sealing of borders with India in the aftermath of Pulwama attack also resulted in hike in vegetable and food prices. Our correspondent adds from Karachi: Flour, bread, milk, sugar, and onions, vegetables have also reached beyond people’s access while tomatoes made a new record as prices touched Rs250 to Rs280 per kg. The inflation of edible items has caused serious trouble to poor and middle-class people, as dairy vendors are selling milk at their own prices and challenged the city administration, while flour mills owners also increased the flour rates from Rs10 to Rs15 rupees per. According to official statistics, the inflation increased upto 22 percent in tomato, onion, garlic, potato, ghee, eggs, pulses, chicken and other edible items prices. During the last week, the prices were increased up to record 289 per cent in 43 out of 51 edible items that caused an increase in average rate of inflation to 19.03 per cent. The wholesale traders said the mechanism of supply and demand is disturbed due to bad crops in Balochistan but within weeks, Sindh’s tomato will reach the market. The onion prices also reached Rs75 to Rs 100 per kg due to huge export. Pakistan has export orders of onion due to bad onion Indian crops. The government is earning foreign exchange by exporting onion.

Jawwad Rizvi adds from Lahore: The arrangements of the Punjab government for forming 15 critical markets proved to be cosmetic as the move failed to deliver. The production and transportation costs of vegetables and fruits have already increased besides the sellers and vendors costs due to increase in fertilizers, fuels and electricity tariffs. Further, the price fixed by the government through market committee and deputy commissioners offices were never implemented as the vendors claimed that their purchasing prices are even higher than the official rates on the price list. On Monday, the official price of potato was fixed at Rs55 to 60 per kg, but it was not available anywhere while the price of potato (sugar free) was fixed at Rs34 to 36 per kg and sold at Rs70 per kg. The price of onion was increased to Rs72 per kg from the last week price of Rs60 per kg, but it was unavailable at official rates and was sold at Rs80 to 100 per kg.

Similarity, almost more than 100 per cent increase in the price of tomato was observed, reaching Rs165 to 175 per kg, but it was sold at Rs240 per kg. The official price of local garlic was increased to Rs245 per kg, and that of Chinese garlic to Rs258 per kg, while it was sold at Rs280 and 320 per kg, respectively. The price of Chinese ginger was Rs345 per kg, while it was sold at Rs400 per kg. The price of brinjal was fixed at Rs31 to 33 per kg, and was sold at Rs50 to 60 per kg. Cucumber rates were fixed at Rs32 to 34 per kg. It was sold at Rs80 per kg. Biter gourd was fixed at Rs62 per kg. It was sold at Rs80 per kg. Local zucchini was fixed at Rs42 per kg. It was sold at Rs80 per kg.

Cauliflower was fixed at Rs30 per kg and was sold at Rs60 per kg. Cabbage was fixed at Rs42 per kg and was sold at Rs 80 per kg. Spinach was fixed at Rs18 per kg and was sold at Rs30 to 40 per kg. Chinese lemon was fixed at Rs42 per kg and was sold at Rs100 per kg. Methi price was fixed at Rs48 per kg. It was sold at Rs80 per kg. Turnip was fixed at Rs32 to 34 per kg and was sold at Rs50 per kg. Pumkin was fixed at Rs29 per kg and was sold at Rs60 per kg. Green chili was fixed at Rs145 per kg and was sold at Rs200 per kg. Capsicum was fixed at Rs224 per kg and was sold at Rs300 per kg. Arum price was fixed at Rs60 per kg and was sold at Rs100 to 120 per kg. Ladyfinger price was fixed at Rs59 per kg. It was sold at Rs100 per kg. The price of green pea was fixed at Rs91 per kg. It was sold at Rs150 per kg.

Arshad Aziz Malik adds from Peshawar: Contrary to the tall claims of the PTI government the prices of vegetables are at their extreme heights in Peshawar. Poor and middle classes are deprived of buying the vegetables as well. A record price hike of tomatoes, onion, peas, lady finger, zucchini, ginger, bitter gourd and cauliflower have been observed in Peshawar.

The price of tomatoes has been increased Rs60 per kg, which means from Rs80 per kg to Rs140 per kg whereas peas are sold at price of 200 per kg, which were sold at Rs80 per kg one month ago. Hence an increase of Rs120 has been observed. The price of garlic has been increase from Rs80 to 100 per quarter kg while ginger has reached from 80 to 150 rupees per quarter. Hence an increase of rupees 70 has been noticed.

Lady finger price has been increased from 80 to 120 rupees per kg, colocasia from 80 to 120 rupees per kg. Hence an increase of 40 Rs in both vegetables were observed. Bitter gourd price has been increased from 60 to 100 and bottle gourd from Rs60 to 100 per kg, which means an increase of Rs40 per kg. Ilyas Khan a buyer told “The News” that it is difficult to buy vegetables at such high prices for the common people. “Government has already deprived us of buying meat or chicken because of price hike, now vegetables are also out of our reach,” he said

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