ISLAMABAD, June 22, 2010: The prices of some frequently used vegetables (potato and garlic), pulses (Mung and Mash), basmati rice and few condiments (coriander, powdered salt, turmeric and red chilies) registered a relatively high increase in the month of June 2010 as compared to their prices in May 2010, according to FAFEN’s Retail Price Monitor, released here Tuesday.
During the month of June 2010, FAFEN Governance Monitors collected prices of 69 commodities and services at retail outlets in 136 National Assembly Constituencies in 87 districts of the four provinces, FATA and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
According to FAFEN’s Real Price Monitor— part of FAFEN’s nationwide initiative to monitor governance processes under its Democratic Governance Program— the prices of potato and turmeric, which registered a high increase in the month of May nationwide, continued to rise in June 2010, further increasing by 13% and 30% respectively.
The average prices of other food items also increased nationwide, including Mung pulse (which increased in price by 13%), basmati rice (4%), salt powder (9%), garlic (6%), Mash pulse (8%), red chili powder (14%), coriander (7%), green tea (23%), mustard oil (7%), desi ghee (3%), and fresh milk, vegetable ghee and oil (1% each) in June as compared to May 2010. In fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), toothpaste prices increased 8% across the national sample.
While 41 consumer commodities and services registered increases in price, as many as 27 consumer items were available on relatively cheaper prices in June as compared to May. Consumers paid relatively less to purchase onions (price decrease of 10%), mangoes (11%), oranges (15%), chicken broiler (6%), petrol (7%), diesel (2%), kerosene oil (4%) and CNG (2%), in the month of June as compared to what they had to pay in May 2010.
There was a wide regional variance in terms of changes in the prices of some essential commodities. For instance, the price of tomatoes witnessed a nationwide decrease of 3% in June 2010 – despite the fact that it registered quite a significant increase of 62% in Sindh and 23% in Balochistan– because the price of this commodity went down as much as 43% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 46% in FATA and 8% in Punjab. FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are enjoying tomato production season. Punjab’s tomato season has just ended, and the commodity is out of season in Balochistan and Sindh.
Mango prices went down in Sindh by 21%, and by 13% in Punjab due to peak harvesting season in these provinces but it shot up by 3 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
FAFEN compared the data collected by its Governance Monitors with the Sensitive Price Index of the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), which revealed differences in the prices of many items collected from the same districts. In some items, the prices listed by the FBS were higher than FAFEN’s and in some cases they were lower.
FAFEN is a network of 35 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability. For more information please visit www.fafen.org.
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