Powdered milk price raised by Rs80 a kg

KARACHI, May 16: A leading multinational powdered milk producer steeply hiked price by Rs80 per kg in one go, 13 days ahead of new budget announcement.

The maker of Nido one kg pack has pushed up the rate to Rs540 from Rs460 on May 7, 2011, while the same company had pushed up the rate of tetra milk to Rs76 from Rs70 per litre in the third week of April.

Karachi Retail Grocers Group (KRGG) general secretary Farid Qureishi said the company had not given any reason for the price hike in the list issued to the retailers.

He recalled that in January 2010, Nido price was Rs390 a kg, which was raised to Rs 425 in May 2010, ahead of budget and was further enhanced to Rs460 in June 2010.

On March 25, 2008, when the PPP came into power, Nido was available at Rs310 a kg.

He added neither the federal nor the provincial/city governments had taken any serious notice about the price hike in powder milk and even in other daily use items.

He urged the government to check the price hike by the big companies and producers so that the consumers may not suffer ahead of the budget.

The city government had been dilly-dallying in fixing the price of tetra milk for the last one and a half months.

In fresh milk, the city government's efforts had already failed to check increase in milk price to Rs66 from Rs60 per litre last month despite fixing the rate at Rs60 on April 4, 2010.

In its fortnightly price list issued for May 16 to May 31, the city government has fixed the rate of dry milk (full cream) at Rs370 per kg.

Executive District Officer Enterprise and Investment Promotion of the city government Dr Saifur Rahman said that h is staff lacks magisterial powers to control prices of different items.

Currently, he said some inspectors visit various markets and lodge written complaints to the EDO Revenue, which was later sent to District Sessions Judge for action against the profiteers.

In the last three weeks he had sent 3,500 complaints against dairy farmers, wholesalers and retailers of fresh milk for action against them.

He said as the producers of tetra and powder milk were multinational companies, the city government is working to regulate and fix their prices.

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