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Pakistan Minister calls to reduce role of middlemen as veg prices skyrocket

The recent surge in the price of vegetables in Pakistan has led to citizens asking the government to propose a cost-effective alternative, as the once-economical vegetables are now unaffordable for many.

According to the official list issued by the office of the Karachi commissioner, tomatoes are supposed to be sold at Rs138 per kilogramme (kg), however, consumers complain that the rate at which tomatoes are being sold has crossed the Rs200 mark in the city.

The official rate for onions is Rs75 per kg but in many areas it is being sold for almost double – Rs150 per kg. Green chillies are being sold at Rs170 per kg.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the skyrocketing prices and has directed the agriculture department to intervene by reducing the role of middlemen and control the prices.

In a statement issued by CM House, Shah said vegetables have become beyond the reach of poor people. “I feel it is an artificial price hike created by hoarders,” he said.

The chief minister directed Agriculture and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal to personally inquire into the matter and intervene where necessary.

Sabzi Mandi Vice-Chairperson Asif Ahmed told The Express Tribune that very soon tomatoes from Sindh will be in the market and prices will start to decrease. He added that usually there is a high demand of tomatoes and onions in the Eidul Azha and Muharram seasons and predicted that prices will normalise in a week or so.

Publication date: 9/28/2017


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