Pindi faces food inflation during holidays

With markets closed & vendors absent, families struggle to afford necessities

Qaiser Shirazi April 15, 2024
A shopkeeper arranges onions at his shop. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The prices of vegetables, fruits, chicken and meat have skyrocketed due to the closure of vegetables, fruits and all wholesale markets in the twin cities for four days as well as the absence of pushcart vendors because of the Eid holidays.
The impoverished households were unable to afford chicken during the first, second and third days of Eid.

As the price control magistrates were on vacation from Tuesday to Sunday, shopkeepers and hawkers exploited the situation by imposing arbitrary prices on essential items such as vegetables, fruits, bread, chicken, meat, and milk. However, on Saturday (today), there is a chance of prices decreasing as the vegetable and fruit wholesale markets resume operations after four days.

During the three-day Eid festivities, the open market offered a range of prices for different food items. Chicken meat was available at Rs800 per kg, mutton at Rs2,400, beef at Rs1,300, milk at Rs220 per litre and yoghurt at Rs230 per kg.
On the first day of Eidul Fitr, there was a new tsunami of inflation in the open market. The items sold included bread for Rs30, naan for Rs35, paratha for Rs60, a cup of tea for Rs80, lemons for Rs400 per kilo, potatoes for Rs90, onions for Rs350, tomatoes for Rs200, garlic for Rs750, ginger for Rs740, cucumber Rs80, carrot Rs50, green coriander Rs70, apples Rs300 to Rs400, banana Rs220 to Rs250 per dozen, oranges Rs400 to Rs450, melon Rs220 per kg, watermelon Rs200, strawberry Rs300 and pomegranate Rs400 per kg.

Many tandoors in the twin cities had to shut down during the Eid holidays. The tandoor, vegetable and chicken sellers had left for their native villages in Azad Kashmir and Murree. However, all the chicken, vegetable, fruit and other markets will resume operations on Saturday [today], leading to a decrease in the prices of all food and essential items.
It is worth noting that the price of chicken reached an all-time high during all three days of Eid.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2024.


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