ISLAMABAD, Feb 22: Reacting to the ongoing strike by producers, the wholesalers increased ghee and edible oil prices by Rs5 per kg and under the impact of price spiral the consumers will have to pay between Rs5 and Rs10 per kg more.

The traders feared that if the strike continued for few more days the price of hi-end cooking oil and ghee could cross the Rs200 per kg mark.

However, the wholesalers at Ganj Mandi, the grain and grocery wholesale market in Rawalpindi have increased the prices, as they claimed their stocks were depleting, without the backup supply.

"There is no supply from the 33 ghee and oil mills in the region including two in Rawalpindi", Sheikh Siddique, chairman Markazi Anjuman Tajiran, Rawalpindi, and added "if the strike continues till next week the prices may go up by another Rs5 per kg".

Meanwhile the retailers have expressed concerns over the price increase and said the strike by manufacturers is becoming a business boom for hoarders.

"The real issue is with us the retailers – we have to face the masses and people think that we are increasing the prices. Besides, we do not have stocks of more than a week", said Abdul Hai, a retailer in G-8.

As a result of the increase in ghee / cooking oil rates the prices of numerous cooked food items including snacks will also rise. Since the retailers have an average of seven-day rolling stocks the impact would be more visible to the consumers from Friday as the strike was launched on Saturday February 18.

"Our only demand is security of imported palm on the roads in country," Chairman Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA), Sheikh Abdul Waheed said adding, "The next course of action by the Association will be announced in a news conference on Thursday (today)," he added.

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