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Milk price issue hangs in the balance

09 January 2007

PAKISTAN - The city Nazim held a meeting with milk retailers on Saturday in which it was agreed that the price of milk would be reduced, but so far no price reduction has taken place.

While milk sellers still complain about the stagnancy of fodder prices, the city government claims to have started a crackdown on milk retailers who, in some areas, have still not reduced their prices to the one set by the government i.e. Rs28 per kilo.

Chief Secretary Fazlur Rehman said the govt has started to make milk retailers pay fines. He, however, refused to give further details by saying that another meeting would be held regarding this issue. The Nazim also was not available for questioning. Milk prices have already caused frustration among citizens who are already suffering from increasing prices of basic commodities. With Muharram approaching, there will be a further increase in demand of milk and yogurt, which is likely to cause another upward trend in the market.

Although the citizens have been told to lodge their complaints regarding the sale of milk at higher rates at helpline 134 and toll-free number 0800-12012 so that the city government could take action against profiteers more effectively, many have complained of the phone lines not connecting.

DDO Enterprise and Investment Promotion Department, Malik Zaidain, however denies this by saying that their phone lines are free and many complaints have already been registered.

He says the fine imposed for selling milk at a price higher than the government’s set price is Rs10,000, or jail for a week. According to him, the increase in milk prices was done arbitrarily by the wholesalers, and that in the meeting with the Nazim there were representatives from both dairy farmers and retailers who have a already unilaterally agreed to conform to the government’s price.

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Source: The News


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