Flour consumers paying higher prices.

KARACHI -- Despite a substantial cut in mill rates, retailers continue fleecing flour consumers by charging higher prices for different varieties due to the Sindh government's weak regulatory mechanism.

Meanwhile, improved supplies have brought down the prices of tomatoes and potatoes, but onions and pulses maintained a rising trend.

Makers of Ashrafi have slashed the rates of 5kg and 10kg fine flour bags to Rs580 and Rs1,140 from Rs775 and Rs1,530 while for chakki flour the rates had been lowered to Rs608 and Rs1,170 from Rs803 and Rs1,560.

Retailers are reluctant to offer any price relief and sell 5kg and 10kg bags at Rs750 and Rs1,500, but some of them are selling the flour bags at Rs600 and Rs1,200.

However, unbranded chakki flour prices have slightly dropped to Rs150 from Rs160-170 per kg despite a cut in rates by chakki owners to Rs130-135 from Rs150-160 per kg.

Improved supplies bring relief for potato and tomato buyers

The majority of retailers are selling chakki flour at Rs150 per kg, said a chakki owner, adding that there is no shortage of any flour variety.

On the contrary, many consumers complain about not getting flour no. 2.5 at Rs95 per kg as fixed by the Sindh government. Retailers are selling it at Rs100 per kg. Some are offering fine flour in loose form at Rs125 per kg, while others are still demanding Rs140 per kg.

Pakistan Flour Mills Association, Sindh Chapter, chairman Aamir Abdullah told Dawn that mills were providing flour no. 2.5 at Rs95 per kg while it is available at Rs100 per kg in the retail market.

He said the wheat rate in the open market has risen to Rs10,500 per 100 kg from...

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