Price-hike of sugar—an effort to snatch sweetness
By: Yasir Ilyas
ISLAMABAD, October 26, 2010: Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan has moved a summary to Ministry of Industries and Production seeking an increment in prices of sugar up to Rs. 15 per Kg, which is being sold at ‘controlled rates’ on all utility stores of Pakistan.
Sources confided to this agency that the decision has been taken, keeping the increment in prices in open market in view. Sugar has crossed Rs. 86 per Kg in open market or in other words 1 kg sugar is available for 1 US $ in open market, while it was being sold on utility stores for Rs. 55 per kg which will now reach Rs. 70 per kg after approval of the above mentioned summary.
An official of the ministry said that it would be ensured to keep a difference of about 10 to 15 rupees between prices in utility stores and open market on one kg sugar.
The decision will have vast implications on a life of a layman who has already been badly affected by the price hike and inflation.
Zulekha Bibi, an old lady and a housewife termed this decision as a last nail in the coffin. She said “there is no one who thinks about the poor. Increasing prices of sugar on utility stores is a shameful decision which will compel common man to burry alive.”
Maqsood Ahmed, a daily wages worker said, “We work hard to earn livelihood and our women (wives and daughters) line up in long queues to get a subsidized bag of sugar after an intensified humiliation, but that sugar bag would go beyond the access of a layman after this decision, so government is requested to disapprove such summary.” He requested.
Asrar Khan, a shop keeper, said, “We used to deal in sugar previously, but left this business later as we had no customers of sugar after a huge increment prices in sugar. People used to purchase sugar from utility stores but after such a decision people will loose the last ray of hope.”
In case of approval of the summary, people will be left with no option other than to leave the use of sugar, because purchasing power has not increased with the ratio of increment of prices of daily useable items. Approval of summary would be considered as a bid to snatch sweetness from the lives of people.