Milk traders’ ultimatum on milk price hike sparks concerns in Pakistan

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Milk and Sugar shortages
Milk (Left) and Sugar (Right) (Photo - News Intervention)

Milk vendors in Karachi have suspended purchases of milk from dairy farmers, threatening a milk crisis in the city. The vendors are demanding a hike in the price of milk, saying that they cannot afford to sell it at the current prices after purchasing it from farmers at high rates.

The Karachi Milk Retailers Welfare Association staged a protest at the Karachi Press Club on Monday and gave the local administration a 72-hour ultimatum to make a decision regarding the milk price. The association’s office-bearer said that the dairy farmers were selling milk to the retailers at (Pak) Rs 214 to Rs 218 per litre and the shop owners should get the least margin of Rs 20 per litre.

The association’s decision has caused panic among consumers, who are worried about the availability of milk in the city. The price of milk has already increased by 20% in the past few months, and a further hike would be a major burden on consumers.

The milk crisis is the latest in a series of price hikes in Pakistan. The prices of essential commodities, such as food, fuel, and electricity, have been rising steadily in recent months. This situation is likely to have a major impact on the poor and vulnerable in Karachi. Many families rely on milk as a source of protein and other nutrients. A further hike in the price of milk would make it even more difficult for the people to afford basic necessities.

In addition to the milk crisis, Pakistan is also facing a sugar shortage. The sweetener is being sold between Rs185 to Rs195 in Islamabad’s retail market, while the rate in the wholesale market has decreased to Rs178 per kg from Rs180. Despite the decrease in the wholesale market price of sugar, the retailers are selling the same at their desired rate.

In a statement, Rauf Ibrahim – Chairman Wholesale Grocers Association – said that the sugar mafia and hoarders created an ‘artificial shortage’ of sweetener and reduced its supply into the market.

Pakistan is under tremendous pressure to resolve the milk crisis and other price hikes. However, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to take effective measures to address the issue.

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