With the increase in demand for milk on the occasion of Muharram, milk traders are cashing in on the event and have increased the prices by almost 50 per cent. The increase in demand is due to the use of milk to prepare various drinks and desserts, which are distributed in the form of Niaz. An artificial shortage has also been created by traders limiting the availability of milk.
Most milk retailers across Karachi open their shops only for a few hours in the morning and in the evening. During these limited hours, they sell milk at the price they wish to charge. Though the official price of milk fixed by the government is Rs94 per litre and the retail price set by shopkeepers is Rs110 per litre, shopkeepers have been selling milk at Rs140 per litre during Ashura.
Shopkeepers claim that due to the increase in demand, the amount of milk routinely available to them is not enough and they have to buy more milk from the wholesale market. They get milk at higher prices from the open market and therefore sell it at higher rates.
Taking notice of the matter, Dr Khatu Mal Jeewan, the chief minister’s special assistant on the Bureau of Supply and Prices has called a meeting on September 13 at the Karachi commissioner’s office in this regard.