LAHORE - The prices of 33 commodities and services increased in March 2012 as compared to the preceding month while those of 13 fell and six remained unchanged, says a report.

The report released by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) Tuesday said the commodities including pulses, fruit, rice and cooking oils etc registered an average increase of 5 per cent but prices of poultry products, some vegetables, kitchen fuels, spices and condiments were down 6 per cent.

FAFEN’s Retail Price Monitors collected prices of 52 commodities/services from 193 retail outlets in 107 districts across Pakistan.

According to the report, prices of all the observed pulses went up, gram pulse registering the highest increase of 30 per cent, followed by gram black (28 per cent), washed mung and red beans (5 per cent each), washed masoor (3 per cent), chickpeas (2 per cent), white beans (1 per cent) and washed mash (1 per cent).

Among fruits, price of kinnow was up 18 per cent, bananas (12 per cent), dark red apples (11 per cent) and golden apples (5 per cent).

Similarly, there was an increase in prices of various rice varieties -irri-6 (6 per cent), basmati-386 (3 per cent) and basmati broken (3 per cent).

Of the observed sweeteners, the price of sugar rose 9 per cent and that of desi shaker by 1 per cent. However, gur registered a 1 per cent decline. Similarly among condiments, there was a 12 per cent hike in price of garlic but turmeric and ginger fell 4 per cent each.

Meat items including beef and mutton each registered a 1 per cent increase in price while on the other hand those of all the observed poultry products decreased- chicken broiler live (7 per cent), eggs (6 per cent) and chicken broiler meat (5 per cent), the report said. The price of kerosene oil was up 2 per cent but that of LPG went down by 3 per cent. There was a 1 per cent increase each in prices of branded cooking oil and vegetable ghee.

On the vegetables side, the crop calendar influenced the prices – tomatoes falling 41 per cent and onions 10 per cent. However, a 1 per cent increase was recorded in price of potatoes.  Hike in prices of cooking oils and ghee, pulses, meat and some vegetables prompted an increase in prices of plates of cooked vegetables (2 per cent), dal (2 per cent) and beef (1 per cent). Similarly, wheat flour was also up 1 per cent.

Among medical services, the cost of blood sugar and urine tests (complete picture) each went up by 1 per cent while that of blood test (complete picture) fell by 1 per cent. The price of Panadol (10 tablets) went down 2 per cent and that of Disprin (10 tablets) by 1 per cent.

It is to be noted that FAFEN is a network of 42 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.