At the start of Ramzan, prices of essential food items have witnessed an uncontrolled surge, with little intervention from the authorities concerned. Shopkeepers are selling essential food items at their desired rates instead of selling at government-announced rates.
A recent survey of markets in Peshawar reveals an alarming increase in prices of food items, which have continued to soar with each passing day in this holy month.
A vendor reported that the price of live chicken has surged to Rs350 per kg, while rice prices have increased by Rs70 per kg, reaching Rs335 per kg. Split chickpeas (chana dal) are now selling at Rs220 to Rs260 per kg, and the cost of beans has gone up by Rs60 per kg, with rates jumping from Rs281 to Rs339 per kg. According to a shopkeeper, the cost of spices has surged from Rs150 to Rs200 per kg and now stands at Rs600 per kg in the city.
Oil and ghee prices have also skyrocketed by Rs62 per kg. Vegetables and fruits have become unaffordable for many, with garlic being sold at Rs360 and ginseng at Rs620 per kg. Peas cost Rs200, Arvi Rs180, Zucchini Rs170, green capsicum Rs150, and tomato Rs120 per kg.
Fruits have also witnessed an upward trend in prices, with sweet oranges priced at Rs440 per dozen, oranges at Rs400 per dozen, banana at Rs300 per dozen, pomegranate Rs400, Iranian apple at Rs340 per kg, Kohati guava at Rs350, and strawberry costing Rs280 per kg.
The meat market has also been hit hard by price hikes, with beef now selling at Rs800 to Rs1,000 per kg from its previous price of Rs700 per kg before Ramzan, while mutton prices have increased from Rs1,400 to Rs1,600 per kg and now stand at Rs1,800 per kg.
Many shopkeepers have been charging prices of their own choosing, as district administration officials have not been able to check rates due to heavy rain and mud-stranded water. Butchers in the local market have expressed their dissatisfaction with the rates issued by the district administration, and have not faced any fines or raids from officials.