The government seems helpless before the poultry mafia as the price of chicken meat has gone up by around Rs100 per kilogram right after Eidul Fitr holidays in Punjab.
The price of chicken meat saw a surge of Rs90 per kilogram in the last two days after poultry dealers announced an increase of Rs55 per kilogram on Friday.
Following their announcement, the price of one kilogram chicken meat has now reached Rs473.
Mumtaz, a chicken seller, told this scribe that he was not responsible for the hike in the price as he was being supplied chicken at higher rates. “The increase in the price of chicken meat not only affects customers but retailers also,” he said and added that it was a responsibility of the government to maintain the prices of all commodities.
A chicken meat dealer at Lahore’s Tollinton Market said that the rate was increasing due to a shortage of supply. He said that the demand for chicken meat had increased due to the wedding season that starts after Eid.
The situation is no different in other parts of the province. According to reports, chicken meat is being sold at Rs500 per kilogram in different cities of south Punjab.
An office-bearer of the poultry association told this scribe that the major reason behind the increase in rates was low production of chicken due to the prevailing weather conditions in the country.
He added that inflation and political uncertainty were also responsible for the hike in the price of chicken meat.
Poultry Association Chairman Dr. Sajjad said that the increased rates of protein feed had led to a hike in rates. He demanded subsidies on imported items related to the poultry industry to slash the prices.
Besides, the government has also miserably failed in controlling the prices of other edible items.
“This government had blamed the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for inflation but the fact is that the hike in the prices of edible items has exposed its tall claims,” said a customer buying chicken meat at a shop.
He said that the people had pinned high hopes on the new government to bring down the prices of essential commodities but they were still suffering.
Meanwhile, the prices of various food items, including pulses, cooking oil and gram flour, have risen at utility stores across the country as the government’s Ramazan relief package came to an end.
According to the new rate list issued by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) on Saturday, the discount of Rs10 per kg being offered on pulses has been reverted while the price of gram flour has risen by Rs20 per kg.