KARACHI: Despite the fact that lack of demand, low transportation costs due to falling fuel prices and an upfront tax cut on pulse imports to zero from two percent has pushed the wholesale pulse price down by an average of Rs20 per kg, retailers continue to charge long high tariffs from consumer.
“Wholesale price pulses will drop even further to Rs3 per kg after Rs27 per liter cuts diesel levels from May 1, 2,020,” said Karachi Association of Wholesalers’ Wholesalers Anis Majeed.
As of February 1, 2020, the price of diesel is Rs127 compared to the current level of Rs80.10 per liter.
He said the rush of buyers in Dandia Bazaar had diminished after witnessing an extraordinary invasion last month triggered by the massive lifting of pulses, rice, sugar, flour, ghee and cooking oil, etc., by the trusteeship of charities, industrialists and the rich for providing rations to people in need.
“Every trust, industry and philanthropist has a fixed quota for the purchase of rations, which are now used. The purchase is still ongoing but does not have fast speed in April, “he added.
After Rs20 per kg is cut, the masoor rate, gram pulse, moong, mash and black gram stand at Rs 135-140 per kg, Rs 125-530, Rs 260, Rs 95-200 and Rs 120 per kg respectively.
The wholesale sugar tariff did not change at Rs76 per kg.
The white gram level is Rs95-110 per kg.
However, retailers demand Rs180-190 per kg for gram pulses, Rs280-300 per kg for moong, Rs180 per kg for masoor and Rs260 per kg for Mash.
Wholesale prices are still considered high given the pre-lock price level.
For example, gram pulses are available at Rs 130 per kg followed by moong at Rs 210 per kg, masoor at Rs 100 per kg and mash at Rs 165 per kg.
With a surge in demand for more than 100 percent from welfare organizations, entrepreneurs and philanthropists for ration distribution, wholesalers are fully cashing in on increased demand by raising the price of credit.
Flour demand is down
A flour mill said flour demand from charity organizations and business houses has declined over the past few days.
“When demand is high, 50 percent of our flour sales go to ration suppliers, while people also lift two to three extra bags to prevent a food crisis during locking,” he added.
The official spokesman, Alamgir Welfare Trust, Shakeel Dehalvi, said “buying from charity trust is not slowing down. We continue to buy ration related items. After coronavirus requests, new requests appear to provide rations during Ramazan. “
He said his faith for the past two months had provided 15 days for 50,000 people caring for five family members and that the trust also included other cities.
He said the price cuts for pulses were good for ration providers and there were several other reasons for the decline in the price of pulses such as a reduction in transportation costs.
‘No price list issued’
The commodity market has not yet seen a list of prices of important Ramazan goods in stores.
Anis Majeed said “the price list has not been issued during the holy month so far”.
Karachi Retail Traders General Secretary Farid Qureishi claims that so far no price list has been released.
Officials at the commissioner’s office and the inventory and price bureau asked retailers to display last year’s price list in their stores.
He said the division and deputy commissions had been asked to speed up price checks, but it was unfair to take retailers to the task of overcharging because there were no official tariffs.
With a low demand for goods, he said now people from the middle-income group came, ordering to make five to 10 bags of rations each Rp. 2,000-4,000. However, the huge demand for 50 to 200 ration bags with prices ranging from Rs3,000 to Rs5,000 per bag coming from welfare organizations, entrepreneurs and benefactors has subsided, he added.
Published in Dawn, May 4, 2020
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