Soon after facing the crisis of wheat flour and chicken meat, the Rawalpindi district is now staring at a new crisis of the shortage of pulses and rice amid supply cuts due to worsening economic crises.
Making the state of affairs even grimmer, the prices of broiler meat also hit a record high due to the shortage of chicken feed.
Sources said the Grocery Merchants Association has given a requisition to convene an urgent meeting of the price control committee to fix the new official prices of pulses and other edible items.
The price of rice in the open market broke all previous records in the country’s history to reach up to Rs330 per kg, while the wholesale price of all pulses including split chickpeas, has increased by Rs30 to Rs40 per kg.
The Grocery Merchants Association Central President Salim Pervez Butt said all pulses including split chickpeas are imported from foreign countries. Currently, the government does not have dollar reserves due to which the import of pulses has been badly affected, he remarked.
The stocks of pulses have started decreasing continuously, due to which the supply of pulses has also been affected, he said adding that the wholesale prices of pulses have increased enormously.
The official price of green gram is fixed at Rs220 per kg, while it is being sold in the wholesale market for Rs250 per kg. The price of rice has increased rapidly too.
The official retail price of black gram is Rs190 per kg while the wholesale price is Rs220 per kg and it is available in the market for Rs230 per kg.
The price of chickpea gram has also crossed the figure of Rs300, the central president said.
He added that if the new price of pulses and rice is not fixed according to the new wholesale supply price, then they will stop the sale of the commodities in the whole district.
The office bearer also condemned the heavy fines imposed on official price violators.
Meanwhile, the price of chicken meat reached a historic high of Rs600 per kg in the garrison city.
The price of broiler meat has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the last few days.
Sources said the price of chicken feed has increased tremendously, due to which small poultry farms in Rawalpindi district have started closing down.
The financial crunch has fueled the imminent crisis of chicken meat in the Rawalpindi district again.
In the open market, live chicken is being sold at Rs400 per kg, while the price of chicken meat has increased to a record Rs600 per kg. Poultry Dealers Association Secretary Faisal Abbasi said that the supply of chicken feed and related raw materials has been stopped.
He said that due to the non-availability of feed, medicines and raw materials, there are difficulties in the production of chicken.
He said that the poultry farms of Rawalpindi district have started closing down owing to these factors.
The office bearer remarked that until the restoration of the supply of feed, raw materials and related equipment, the production will keep slumping further.
He also informed that talks with the government over this crisis have failed and the association has requested the government to immediately provide dollars to release the containers of soybean, feed, the raw materials docked at Karachi port for the last two and a half months.
The raw material at the port has also started to rot and by the next week, there is going to be a severe crisis of broiler meat, he added.