ISLAMABAD     -       The most favorite 'Dry Fruits' item of the people in winters has become beyond the purchasing power of the consumers due to its price hike in the Federal Capital.

The most popular dry fruit 'Chilghoza' has gone beyond the purchasing power of the common man, as its increasing price has made it inaccessible.

While talking to APP an Islamabad-based merchant of dry fruits on Wednesday said  the price of pine nuts locally known as Chilghoza has jumped from Rs4,000 per kilogram to Rs9,000 per kilogram.

Prices of other dry fruits in Islamabad were also high as compared to the areas where these dry fruits were producing in abundance, he added.

An importer of dry fruits said that the market rates of dry fruits were to be doubled due to transport cost for its reaching to the capital. "Almonds in shells from Iran or Afghanistan were bought at Rs700 per kg while in Quetta dry fruits market and shipped northward to sell at Rs1200 to Rs1600 per kg in Islamabad," he added.

He said the prices of other dry fruits like cashew nut, pistachio and walnuts had also been increased due to problems in importing the commodity and increase in demand of the commodity.

Similarly, the price of cashew is Rs800 per kg at the arrival stage to markets but in federal capital it was sold at Rs1600 per kg.

While the unsalted pistachio in shells was being sold at Rs1,200 in wholesale markets of other parts of the country, it costs Rs1,600 in the capital city.

In the chilly weather, the number of vendors selling dry fruits has also increased as they can be seen along every nook and corner of road, near bus stands and in markets.

Medical experts say the dry fruits contain great amount of energy and vitamins that help make metabolism and immune system strong.