Profiteers exploit calamity

Prices of relief items, farm products hiked manifold

Imran Adan August 29, 2022
A woman and chidren sit outside their tent after taking refuge on a higher ground following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Jamshoro, Pakistan August 26, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS


As  the  nation  struggles  to  cope with devastating floods, profiteers have jacked up prices of all relief items and essential commodities in the city.

A  market  survey  revealed  that prices of water-proof tents, tram-polines  and  other  camping  material had doubled owing to very high demand in markets across
the province. A local tents and canvas manufacturer, Muhammad Aziz, told.

The Express Tribune that as the devastating  floods  wreaked  havoc in all four provinces the demand for tents had suddenly increased manifold and offered an opportu-
nity to profiteers to jack up prices.

“Right  now,  the  canvas  and tents  market  is  so  bullish  that people are selling their products at the asking price. Even the very low-quality denier fabric tent is being  sold  for  Rs10,000,  which could  hardly  attract  Rs5,000  on normal days. Aziz  highlighted  that  Kasur  is the main manufacturing hub of tents’ basic raw material, canvas, which is supplied across Pakistan.

Owing to high demand, prices of all materials used to manufacture tents, like canvas, thread and rivets, have been increased.“Apart from the principle of supply and demand, unfortunately, the current market situation shows the collective behaviour of the nation,” he lamented.

Similarly,  prices  of  everyday use commodities have also been jacked up owing to disruption of the supply chain. A market survey indicated that the prices of onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and other agricultural commodities had increased by up to 300% in past couple of days.Onion was selling at Rs60-70 per kg in the provincial capital a few days ago.

The  official  price  for  A-grade onion was fixed at Rs180-190 per kg on Sunday, while it was traded for Rs300-350 per kg in different markets across the city.
Similarly,  the  price  of  A-grade tomato increased by Rs234 per kg and was fixed at Rs320-330 per kg, however it was sold for Rs400-450 per kg in the metropolis. B-grade and C-grade tomatoes price was fixed at Rs290-300 and Rs240-250 per  kg,  while  both  the  varieties were sold for Rs300-350 per kg.

The  price  of  A-grade  soft  skin potato also gained Rs20 per kg. It was fixed at Rs90-95 per kg; however, it was traded at above Rs120 per kg in the city, while substandard blended varieties were sold for Rs90-100 per kg.As per official price list issued by the market committee, the price of local garlic showed a little reduction as it was fixed at Rs205-215 per kg.

However, it was traded for Rs400-430 per kg in different areas of the provincial metropolis.

Thai ginger price witnessed an increase of Rs75 per kg. Its rate was fixed at Rs375-385 and was traded for Rs450-480 per kg in different areas of the city.Farmed cucumber price was increased by Rs50 per kg as its rate was  fixed  at  Rs120-125  per  kg.  

However, it was sold for Rs150 per kg,  while  local  cucumbers  were traded  for  Rs200  per  kg.  Brinjal price was increased by Rs5 per kg, fixed at Rs 86-90 per kg but sold for Rs120-140 per kg. Similarly, bitter gourd price increased by Rs10 per kg, was fixed at  Rs160-165  per  kg  and  sold  for over Rs200 per kg.

Spinach price also gained Rs10 per kg as its rate was fixed  at  Rs80-85  per  kg  and sold at Rs120 per kg. A  similar  price  trend  was  witnessed for other seasonal vegetables and fresh fruits. Poultry rates also witnessed an increase on pretext of disruption in supply chain.

The price of live chicken gained Rs20 per kg and was  officially  fixed  at  Rs241  per kg, while poultry meat price was increased by Rs30 per kg to Rs362. However, the chicken meat was sold  for  Rs380-470 per kg in different areas.


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