ISLAMABAD, June 30, 2011: Consumers across the country had to pay, on an average, 5% more on the purchase of 30 consumer commodities including some fruits, beef, poultry products, vegetables, rice, sugar, some pulses, cooking oil, cooked food and kitchen fuel in June 2011 as compared to what they spent on these commodities in the preceding month, according to FAFEN Retail Price Monitor, released here Thursday.
While 30 out of 52 consumer commodities monitored by FAFEN registered an increase in their prices, nine registered a decrease and the prices of 11 commodities remained the same in June as compared to May 2011.
FAFEN monitors collected the prices of these commodities on June 10, 2011, from retail outlets in 91 towns of 79 districts across the four provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Consumers found, on an average, a 4% fall in the prices of nine commodities including onion, some pulses and wheat. While firewood and kerosene oil registered price rises, the price of another kitchen fuel item – liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – declined. The price of 11 commodities including mutton, wheat flour and garlic did not register any change.
The highest price increase was observed in the varieties of apple i.e., apple golden (23%) and apple dark red (10%). Despite the recent conclusion of the harvesting season of potato and tomato crops in Punjab, their prices increased by 10% and 7% respectively.
In rice varieties, the highest inflation was registered in the price of rice-irri (8%), followed by rice basmati broken (3%) and rice basmati-386 (1%). The price of beef and all the poultry products also increased in the June as compared to May 2011. Sweeteners: sugar, gur and desi shaker, registered an increase of 5%, 3% and 1% in their respective prices.
The price of some pulses increased while other decreased. In the price of chick peas and moong pulse an increase of 3% and 2% was observed while other pulses including white beans, red beans and masoor pulse experienced a 4%, 2% and 1% decline in their prices respectively. Similarly kitchen fuels including kerosene oil and firewood registered an increase of 4% and 1% while the price of LPG decreased by 8%.
The increase in the price of kitchen fuels, cooking oil, pulses, vegetables and meat is a possible cause for the increase in the price of cooked items i.e., cooked beef plate, vegetable plate and dal plate. These items registered an increase of 4%, 5% and 6%, respectively.
The price of several commodities was registered to be far higher in some districts than the average price nationwide. For example, the price of a urine test (routine examination) was observed to be Rs.150 in four districts. However, the average price of a urine test was recorded to be Rs.65 in June 2011, nationwide. Similarly, the average price of tomato per kilogram was estimated to be Rs.22, while in few districts tomato was available for no less than Rs.40 per kg.
Of the other commodities that registered a decrease, the highest was observed in the price of onion, which decreased by 11%. The reason for the decrease in the average price of onion might be because of the harvest season of onion crop in the region of Punjab. Onion was followed by LPG (8%) and Panadol (7%). The price of blood test (complete picture) decreased by 5% in June as compared to May 2011.
Wheat and red chilies also registered a 1% and 0.5% decrease in their prices, respectively.
FAFEN is a network of 42 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.
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