ICTA fails to control high prices

Prices of essential itemsOwing to the price differential between wholesale and retail markets, essential food items were sold at higher prices in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad last week as compared to the preceding week, reveals a survey conducted by Business Recorder on Saturday.
The survey noted that the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) and District Administration Rawalpindi have failed in establishing an affective price monitoring mechanism to control prices due to which essential food items were not being sold on uniform rates in the different markets of the twin cities. It was observed that food items, which were available in wholesale markets, were being sold on 10 to 15 percent higher rates in the retail markets. Almost all perishable food items, including vegetables and fruits were being sold on higher rate in different markets of the twin cities, while actual rate of the food items in vegetable markets were very low.
When asked about reasons behind the price differential, traders in different markets of the twin cities stated that they have to pay transport, utilities charges and rent of their shops. In case of perishable food items mixed trend was noted as prices of majority of the vegetables remain unchanged, while some vegetables registered slight increase in their prices during the week under review. Tomato was being sold at Rs 40 per kg, while it was being sold at Rs 55-60 in retail market, onion was being available at Rs 40-45 per kg in wholesale market, while it was being sold at Rs 50 per kg in retail market, potato was being available at Rs 30-35 in wholesale market, while it was being sold at Rs 40 in retail market. Similarly, 10-15 percent price differential was witnessed in other vegetables, including peas which were being available at Rs 60-65 per kg in wholesale market, while they were being sold at Rs 75-80 per kg in retail market, green chili at Rs 70 in retail market, cucumber at Rs 90-100 per kg, carrot at Rs 30 per kg, radish at Rs 30 per kg, ginger at Rs 250-280 and garlic was being sold at Rs 140-180 per kg last week as compared to the preceding week.
However, prices of different kinds of fruits almost remained stable last week as compared to the preceding week as banana was being sold at Rs 60-80 per dozen, apple at Rs 100-180 per dozen, fruiter at Rs 60- 70 per dozen, malta at Rs 80-100 per dozen and guava was being sold at Rs 70-80 per kg last week as compared to the preceding week.
While prices of non-perishable food items were also not uniform in the different retail markets of the twin cities as sugar was being sold from Rs 54 to Rs 60 per kg, moong washed was being sold at Rs 150-160 per kg, masoor washed was available at Rs 130-140 per kg, mash washed at Rs 140-160 per kg, chicken at Rs 160-175 per kg, eggs at Rs 100 per dozen and rice basmati broken was being sold at Rs 80-90 per kg last week as compared to the preceding week. The survey noted that mutton was being sold at Rs 600-620 per kg, while beef was being sold at Rs 280-300 per kg last week as compared to the preceding week.

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Source: Business Recorder

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