ANI Photo | Pakistan braces for high prices as fruit, vegetable costs surge before Ramadan

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on Sunday, people in Pakistan are bracing themselves for a hike in essential commodities, including food items, The Express Tribune reported.
According to the report, the country already records a two to three-fold inflation in the prices of essential kitchen items, including vegetables, sugar, edible oil, ghee, meat, eggs, and pulses.
The increase in prices has been substantially increased across the country after unscrupulous traders to make quick money, adding to the economic sufferings of low- to middle-income consumers.
The prices tend to escalate during the holy month, with a general surge of 31.5 per cent in recent months, and several food items witnessing up to a 60 per cent increase in their rates from their pre-Ramadan levels.
The price of onions, for instance, has shot up from Pakistani currency (PKR) 150 per kg to as much as PKR 300, with some retailers offering a slight relief at PKR 250 per kg, The Express Tribune reported.
Fruit and vegetable prices have surged in the absence of an effective price monitoring system. Other essential items have seen similar price hikes. Potatoes, another hot selling item in Ramadan, now cost PKR 80 per kg up from PKR 50 earlier.
Cabbage has shot up to PKR 150 per kg from PKR 80-100, and green chilies are being sold at PKR 320 per kg compared to their earlier price of PKR 200.
Similarly, capsicum has doubled in price to PKR 400 per kg. However, the price of spinach has remained unchanged at PKR 80-100 per kg.
Apart from the vegetable price hike, the prices of various fruits have witnessed an increase as well.
The price of small-sized bananas have jumped from PKR 80 to PKR 120 per dozen. The high-quality large bananas are being sold at PKR 200 per dozen, up from their earlier rate of PKR 120-150.
Green apples are being sold for PKR 200-250 per kg, up from their previous rate of PKR 150.
The much-sought-after red and golden apples now cost PKR 350-400 per kg in comparison with their earlier price of PKR 300.
The rates of melons–another Ramazan favorite–have increased to PKR 150-200 per kg against PKR 100-120.

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