By Imran Rana
The prices of essential food items including rice, sugar, vegetables, red chillies, pulses, milk, eggs and meat are still as high as before.
FAISALABAD: The prices of essential foods items are still very high even though the prices of petroleum products have declined almost 15%.
High inflation has pushed the food purchase bills up affecting hundreds of thousands people across the country. Due to the increasing level of unemployment the purchasing power of mid- to low- income bracket has significantly shrunk.
According to an informal survey carried out by The Express Tribune, the current downward trend in prices of petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas did not reflect on the rates of essential food items.
The prices of essential food items including rice, sugar, vegetables, red chillies, pulses, milk, eggs and meat are still as high as before, particularly the grocery items have become unaffordable for the common man, said customers in the green market of Faisalabad. The growing demand of essential commodities for upcoming Ramazan is also inflating the prices, they added.
The utility bills and other expenses have gone up exponentially. The consumers prefer to buy commodities in bulk to avoid the impact of likely further increase in the prices in the holy month.
On the other hand, the farmers claimed that the surging input costs including urea, Dap and pesticides have left no other option for the farmers but to increase rates. The prices are directly transferred onto the over-burdened consumers.
“It has become impossible for the common man to support a family as the government has failed to provide any relief on basic necessities. The energy crisis has declined the industrial production due to which unemployment has jumped”, said Muhammad Sultan a well known businessman in Faisalabad while talking to The Express Tribune.
The government has to adopt appropriate policies and develop a method to control essential foods’ prices to provide relief to millions of poor people who are suffering due to soaring food inflation, he demanded.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2012.