Skyrocketing prices at Utility Stores hit consumers

utility stores prices pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a concerning trend, the prices of essential commodities at Utility Stores have surged, leaving consumers grappling with higher costs compared to the rates prevalent in the open market.

According to a recent report on grocery prices, the disparity is stark. Sugar, a household staple, commands a price of Rs 155 at Utility Stores, a notable Rs 19.72 higher than its open market counterpart, which stands at Rs 135.28.

Likewise, a 20 kg bag of flour at Utility Stores carries a price tag of Rs 2840, surpassing the open market rate of Rs 2820.34 by Rs 19.66.

Earlier developments reveal that the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) had procured a substantial 40,000 metric tons of sugar at Rs 124.90/kg.

Sources with insights into the matter disclosed that the procurement was executed following a tender issued the previous month. Notably, the sugar was secured at a rate Rs 10.37/kg cheaper than the corporation’s previous tender.

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However, when factoring in additional expenses, the final cost to USC is estimated at Rs 138.

Against this backdrop, it’s crucial to highlight that Pakistan’s weekly inflation, gauged by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), experienced a worrisome uptick of 1.16% for the week concluding on November 23.

Data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) underscores the impact, with the combined index reaching 311.78 compared to 308.2 on November 30, 2023, and a substantial leap from the 218.52 recorded a year ago on December 08, 2022.

Notably, the yearly SPI has persistently surpassed the 40% mark for the fourth consecutive week, a trend exacerbated by a significant surge in gas prices. As consumers grapple with the ramifications of these economic shifts, the prevailing situation calls for urgent attention and policy interventions to mitigate the impact on the general populace.

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