Milk sellers have turned into milk snatchers. The Karachi milk sellers’ association has increased the retail price of milk to Rs121 from Rs94 a litre from April 10.
This sharp increase of Rs23 will further burden the ordinary consumers who are already groaning under the weight of ever-increasing prices of all essential commodities and basic services like electricity and gas. Never before was milk price increased by such a big margin at one go. What’s worse is that the milk sellers have announced the steep increase unilaterally.
They claimed that they had been urging the government to allow an increase in the commodity’s price in view of the increase in the prices of fodder, other inputs and transport cost. As usual, the provincial government has belatedly moved into action. It is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. We do not know whether the government’s action has had any salutary effect on profiteers.
The increase in milk price has come at a time when Ramazan is around the corner. Considering the fact that the consumption of the commodity goes up during the fasting month, one cannot help describing the unilateral increase as an act of cruelty. Since milk will be available at an inflated price in the holy month, it will go beyond the reach of the common people.
Milk is the most balanced food. For children, it is an essential part of their diet. They need it for proper physical and mental growth. Pakistan is said to be one of the top milk-producing countries, so there should not be a shortage of the commodity. Here once again one comes to the tragedy of Third World countries.
Food is available in plenty in these countries but people do not get a sufficient quantity of food for want of money to buy food. European countries destroy their mountains of food to maintain price stability. The US stocks its surplus food.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2019.