LAHORE: Despite Rs19 per litre or 25 per cent cut in petrol prices, the rates of all grocery items and vegetables are almost same during the last two months.
The consumers have not yet taken benefit from this downward trend in oil prices as the vendors and shopkeepers were given free hand to fleece them. The impact of the arrival of new seasonal crop has been shifted to the customers as the prices are gradually reducing at the wholesale rate. However, in retail prices, this downward affect is not coming to consumers due to overcharging.
Declining trend in the potato price continued with the arrival of new crop. Potato fresh price was reduced by Rs15-20 per kg and available at Rs25 per kg in wholesale market but it is being charged at Rs40-50 per kg in open market. The price of onion was stable at Rs20 per kg and the price of tomato was unchanged at Rs40 per kg in wholesale market and Sunday bazaars but this item is being sold for Rs80 per kg in open market.
Though the petroleum prices have been lowered to the level of almost six years back, but the prices of the essential items have not been changed accordingly.
As per data of Federal Bureau of Statistics data, the price of wheat flour of 10kg was Rs271 in 2008-9 but it is now hovering at around Rs400 per 10kg in fiscal year 2014-15 while the rate of basmati rice broken is almost Rs80 per kg now which was Rs50 per kg in 2008. The rate of medium size bread was Rs25 six years back which is now Rs40 while the rate of beef was Rs150 per kg, mutton was Rs300 per kg and the average chicken rate was Rs100 per kg now these rates are Rs350 per kg, Rs600 per kg and Rs200 per kg respectively.
Milk fresh per litre was selling at Rs40 per kg and now it is selling at Rs65 per kg while Curd per kg is selling at Rs80 per kg while its rate was Rs50 per kg six years back.
Eggs hen, per dozen rate was Rs98 then now its at around Rs110 per dozen. Vegetable Ghee loose 1-kg was selling at Rs110 and now it is at around Rs160. The rates of pulse masoor washed was Rs130 per kg, pulse moong washed Rs50 and pulse mash washed at Rs75 but they are now at Rs136, Rs160 and Rs165 respectively.
Rate of sugar was Rs36 per kg six years back which is now at Rs55 per kg. The government reduced petrol price by Rs19 per litre and diesel by Rs13 per litre compared to international market crude oil prices which were cut by around 45 per cent.
It is expected that the government is likely to reduce further fuel prices by the end of December 2014. But the federal government has failed to direct the provincial governments to establish their writ by lowering the rates of kitchen items which are directly linked hike in to oil prices.
Consumers were of the view that it is responsibility of the government to bring down the prices of not only all basic food items but also other goods which are linked to hike in petroleum rates in order to provide actual relief to general public.