Islamabad witnesses all-time increase in prices of chicken

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Residents express concerns as shaver chicken meat is available for Rs650 per 1-kg

Zubair Qureshi

The federal capital’s residents as well as the poultry merchants have expressed their concerns over the exorbitant prices of chicken and eggs and feared that if not checked by the government, they could go further high in the coming days.

Tuesday registered the highest increase in the prices of white shaver chicken that was selling for Rs650 for one Kg while one dozen eggs were selling for Rs330 and according to a poultry dealer in Sector G-9/4 (Karachi Company) there was a remote possibility regarding the prices of chicken to come down.

Since I started my business in Karachi Company some 20 years ago, never before have I seen chicken prices going so high, he said while talking to Pakistan Observer.

Chicken, considered to be a relatively cheaper alternative for beef and mutton, is now going out of the reach of the general public and its current prices have forced the public to either completely remove it from their diet list or consume it only on special occasions. The rise in price from Rs 500 to Rs.650 per-kg may be a small increase in price for the wealthy elite families but for the majority of the public, this makes it completely unaffordable commodity.

Last month alone, poultry vendors increased chicken prices by Rs200. The raise was termed unfair and there was a public outrage but the government’s relevant departments did not move to address the situation.

The poultry merchants on the other hand, state the increase in prices of chicken meat is due to hefty raise in prices of chicken feed. One bag of chicken feed that was available for Rs1200 is now selling for Rs3,000 which leaves no option but to raise the prices of chicken and meat, said they.

However to many the overnight increase in prices of chicken is because of the lack of regulation and oversight from the administration. The rise in chicken prices may also be attributed to a general rise in the cost of doing business.

Chicken meat is not the only food item that has seen a rise in price. Just the other day, state-run Utility Store Corporations (USC) raised the prices of basic commodities like bread, ghee, and sugar among others.

The announcement stated that the USC’s raised the price of ghee by Rs75 per kg, sugar by Rs19 per kg and a 20-kg bag of wheat by Rs496.

All three are the very basic food items of almost every household.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has recently stated that USC’s would offer discounts on basic food items. Rice, beans, ghee, sugar, and flour are among these basic food items, however, no tangible results are seen on the ground.