LAHORE - Retailers have increased the prices of ghee and oil up to 20 per kilogram due to limited stock of commodity following the prolonged strike of the Pakistan Venaspati Ghee Manufacturers Association while government is taking no action against the huge raise without any official notification. Ghee and oil dealers stated that if this situation persisted for few more days, the market would get dry and prices would further jump up.
They said that dealers still have some stocks available, which would hardly last for a couple of days. They said panic buying was also being witnessed in the markets and if the supply was not restored immediately, ghee prices could swell further.
They said profiteers had started manipulating cooking oil and ghee market, as during the last week, ghee prices had witnessed a jump of up to Rs20 per kg. Presently A-category 16-kilogram ghee tin was hovering between Rs2,760 to Rs2,780, while B-category ghee was being sold at Rs2,530 per 16 kg tin in wholesale.
He revealed investors, hoarders and profiteers, all were on money making spree in retail as well as the wholesale markets.
The Pakistan Venaspati Ghee Manufacturers Association (PVGMA) chairman Sheikh Waheed said that that their strike would enter 11th day on Wednesday as all 100 units of ghee and edible oil are shut across the country from Saturday (February 18) following the burning of four National Logistic Cell’s tankers carrying consignments of edible oil from Port Qasim.
All Pakistan Venaspati Manufacturers Association chairman announced to continue strike till the acceptance of their demands. He also warned to suspend employment of more than 50,000 workers, as without work they said, they could not pay to the employees.
He said the entire ghee and cooking oil industry had shut down its operation across Pakistan against blackmailing of transporters, but nobody was paying heed to the issue.
He said domestic ghee industry was in the grip of transport mafia, which had paralysed the transportation of imported edible oil from Port Qasim, Karachi to upcountry. Ghee industry had been victimised by constant increase in transportation rates, black mailing and pilferage of cargo since long.
The burning of four NLC tankers loaded with edible oil worth Rs30 million by tanker mafia on February 17, created a wave of fear and uncertainty among ghee manufacturers. Ghee manufacturers would continue their agitation till industry reservations were not addressed, he warned.
Dealers said that they were not getting ghee supply therefore hoarders and profiteers increased the prices on their own. They said that people residing in different parts of the country were facing worst shortage of ghee and cooking oil because of a wide gap in supply and demand.