PM, minister differ on sugar price as ginger hits Rs1,000/kg
December 12, 2020 03:00 PM
On a day when Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated his team for reducing the sugar price to Rs81 per kg, the citizens in Lahore and Islamabad are being forced to buy ginger at the rate of Rs1,000, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Saturday.
Imran, in a tweet, said sugar was being sold at a national average of Rs 81 per kilogramme against the level of Rs102 per kg a month back. “I want to congratulate my team for bringing the sugar prices down through a multi-pronged strategy,” he added.
However, the prime minister forgot that the sugar was previously available for up to Rs115, but he opted to take refuge in average figures which obviously do not matter as far as the ordinary people are concerned.
But there is a discrepancy among the ruling party members, as Saifullah Nyazee – the PTI chief organiser – claimed that the retail price was down to Rs75 from the level of Rs110.
File photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with PTI Chief Organiser Saifullah Nyazee.
And it doesn’t stop there as Asad Umar – a federal cabinet member – noted that the sugar price had been slashed by Rs31 – obviously admitting that the sugar price was higher than what the prime minister has stated in his tweet.
As far as the record-breaking ginger is concerned, this essential food ingredient is available for Rs1,000 per kilogramme at vegetable stalls and shops in Lahore. But the retailers can’t be blamed for the price hike as the ginger price in vegetable markets ranges between Rs850 and Rs900.
In this scenario, many shopkeepers and roadside vendors have stopped buying and selling ginger for being affordable while the official rates do not match the ground realities.
That’s the reason one of the vendors challenged the government to procure ginger at the rate of Rs650 from vegetable markets. “We cannot sell ginger for a lower price after buying it at a higher rate.”
“The government (district administration) has no idea of reality, [it] issues wrong rate [list] every day,” the angry shopkeeper remarked and asked why the smaller sellers were being targeted when the government could manage the affairs at vegetable markets.
Similarly, a citizen wondered what the reason behind the unprecedented increase in ginger price was and what the government had been doing to check the trend.
Meanwhile, things aren’t much different in Islamabad where one kilogramme of ginger is being sold for Rs950 to Rs1,000 at a time when the official rate is fixed at Rs900.
According to a shopkeeper, the rate in the vegetable market is ranging between Rs850 to Rs900 and the retail price will obviously include the transportation cost and the shop rent.
On the other hand, the tweeps couldn’t miss the prime minister’s tweet, noting that the sugar price was first hiked to Rs110 per kilogramme from the level of Rs52; therefore, Imran’s assertion doesn’t carry any weight.