Increase in Prices of 22 Commodities/Services

A Report Based on the Prices Collected from 171 Retail Outlets in 84 Districts

ISLAMABAD, December 1: A Free and Fair Election Network report said Thursday prices of 22 commodities/services had increased by 8 percent in November 2011 compared to the prices in the preceding month.

The report said fruits, cooked items, vegetables, milk and medical services registered an increase in prices while those of some rice varieties, sweeteners, firewood, spices and condiments went down by 4 percent. It said the prices of 11 commodities remained unchanged.

FAFEN Governance Monitors collected the prices of 52 commodities from 171 retail outlets across the country.

The highest recorded increase of 56% was in the price of onions with tomatoes witnessing a 47% hike and potatoes going up by 4%. On the other hand, the prices of dark red and golden apples, and bananas increased by 11%, 10% and 7% respectively.

Among spices and condiments, garlic and ginger registered an increase of 3% and 2% in prices while salt powder, red chili powder and turmeric fell by 5%, 4% and 3% respectively.

Of the prices of pulses monitored, only gram pulse recorded a 1% increase but those of red beans (4%), washed moong pulse (3%), black gram (2%), washed mash pulse (1%) and chickpeas (1%) came down.

The price of yoghurt increased by 2%, possibly because of the increased price of its vital ingredient milk, – which also went up by 2%. With the onset of winter, the price of hen eggs increased by 5% but that of broiler chicken meat fell by 1%.

The prices of all the cooked products -plates of beef, vegetable, dal, a cup of tea and plain chapatti went up by 6%, 3%, 2%, 2% and 1% respectively, possibly because of the change in prices of other inputs and fuels or an increased demand of these commodities with the change in season.

The prices of all the observed medical services – blood test (complete picture), blood sugar test and urine tests (routine examination) – also registered an increase of 4%, 2% and 1% respectively.

As the harvesting of kharif crops in the country began, the price of sugarcane products and rice varieties registered a decline. The prices of gurdesi shaker and sugar decreased by 7%, 6% and 6% respectively while those of rice varieties including Irri-6, Basmati-386 and Basmati broken rose by 6%, 2% and 2% respectively.

With the arrival of winter, abundant availability of peanuts in the market led to a 5% decrease in its price.

Among kitchen fuels, the price of LPG increased by 1% while that of firewood was down 1%, despite its increased demand in winter.

The average prices of commodities including mutton, vegetable ghee, cooking oil, wheat grain, wheat flour, mustard oil, white beans, kerosene oil, washed masoor pulse, broiler chicken live and Disprin remained unchanged between October 10 and November 10, 2011.

About FAFEN: 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.