KARACHI: Ghee and cooking oil prices in Pakistan were increased by an astounding Rs 208 and Rs 213 to an all-time high of Rs 555 per kilogramme and Rs 605 per litre, respectively, by the Pakistani government, shocking customers.
An official in the Utility Stores Corp (USC) in Karachi confirmed that the USC had issued a notification of this massive increase in ghee and cooking oil rates effective June 1. The official, on the other hand, made no comment on why the rates had been jacked up so dramatically, which would have a significant impact on consumers.
In retail stores, the maximum prices of ghee and cooking from well-known brands is still around Rs 540-560 per kg/litre. However, the Secretary-General of the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA), Umer Islam Khan, warned that retail ghee and cooking oil costs would soon catch up to USC pricing. He said that ghee/cooking oil makers had ceased selling their products on credit to the USC since the latter had not paid the manufacturers their outstanding Rs 2-3 billion.
According to media reports, the Prime Minister Task Force Committee on Palm Oil Supply, which includes officials from various ministries and PVMA office-bearers, has been holding daily zoom meetings to analyse the demand and supply situation for palm oil.
Officials claimed that around 160,000 tonnes of palm oil supplies are accessible at Karachi's twin ports, enough for three weeks of use. Despite Indonesia removing its prohibition on palm oil exports on May 23, no loaded vessels had been seen on the high seas or in Indonesia ports for shipments to Pakistan.