LAHORE - Prices of most of kitchen items, including vegetables, chicken, dry fruits and fresh fruits and most importantly the LPG- the most sough after product- increased, as severe cold and dry weather in most parts of the country have badly affected their production, resulting into increase in their rates.

Prices of some of the vegetables like tomato, cauliflower, cucumber and radish increased in Sunday bazaars as well in the open market. Tomato was being sold at Rs8-100 per kg against Rs60 per kg, registering a significant increase of Rs30 per kg against last week, cauliflower at Rs50 per kg against Rs30 per kg, cucumber at Rs60 per kg against Rs40 per kg in open market.

The consumers have criticised the government for failing to pass on the impact of reduction in oil and electricity prices to the masses.

The downwards impact of fuel prices has not started yet as the rates of all grocery items and vegetables are almost same or going upward during the last two months despite a cut of around 25 per cent in oil prices in the country.

The vendors and shopkeepers were given free hand to fleece the visitors while impact of the arrival of new seasonal crop has not been shifted to the customers as the prices are gradually reducing at the wholesale rate. However, in retail prices, this downward affect is not coming to consumers due to overcharging. They said that significant reduction was made in oil and electricity prices, but rates of kitchen items remained on high side.

It is expected that the government is likely to reduce further fuel prices by the end of December 2014. But the federal government has failed to direct the provincial governments to establish their writ by lowering the rates of kitchen items which are directly linked hike in to oil prices.

Consumers were of the view that it is responsibility of the government to bring down the prices of not only all basic food items but also other goods which are linked to hike in petroleum rates in order to provide actual relief to general public.

This Sunday too, overcharging and non-availability of seasonal vegetables was the main feature of the Sunday bazaars. While increasing trend in the prices of majority of vegetables continued this week again.

Vegetable items rates which remained constant included carrot rates was standing at Rs60 per kg, onion at Rs20 per kg, potato at Rs30 per kg, cabbage at Rs40 per kg, brinjal at Rs30 per kg, green peas at Rs75 per kg, okra at Rs 90 per kg and garlic at Rs160-180 per kg without any significant change in prices during the period under review.

Chicken prices registered an increase of Rs15 per kg in different markets and was being sold at Rs225 per kg. However, price of eggs remained unchanged at Rs116 per dozen without any changes in prices. It is also important to note that cold has increased demand of dry fruits and traders have cashed the opportunity.