ISLAMABAD: The Utility Stores Corporation (USC) has jacked up the prices of various items at its stores across the country following the same in other markets of the country.
According to a notification, prices of branded tea, milk, spices, honey, toothpaste, shampoo, and other items have been increased by the government after which the price of 950 grams of branded tea has increased by Rs198, the price of tea has increased from Rs697 to Rs895, the price of milk has increased from Rs177 to Rs197, the price of a 260 gram jar of honey has increased from Rs310 to Rs425, the price of baby dry milk supplement has increased from Rs1,360 to Rs1,450, and the price of shampoos of different brands has increased by up to Rs30.
Following this, the price change notification for various brands has also been issued at utility stores. The additional prices will be applicable immediately.
It may be recalled that the USC had also announced an increase in the prices of pulses and other food items across all utility stores of the country earlier in June.
Meanwhile, justifying the price increase, an official stockperson of USC claimed that the prices were rationalized in order to improve demand and supply and ensure uninterrupted supply of branded items at all utility stores across the country.
The spokesperson said that the USC has only increased the prices of a few branded items which was prompted by the price hikes issued by the companies. “Various national and multinational branded companies supplying goods to utility stores have increased the prices of their products, while prices of pulses have also been increased generally,” he added.
He further added that prices of these commodities were kept stable since March/April. “Utility Stores Corporation does not manufacture or produce itself but purchases from reputed and certified branded companies of the country”.
“When raw material prices increase, production charges and transportation charges increase too, and as a result, the product cost also increases due to which the prices have to be revised,” the spokesperson said.
However, he said, the new prices of these items at utility stores will still be 5% below the printed retail market price.
As per USC, subsidized ghee is cheaper by Rs150 per kg, sugar by Rs20 to Rs25 per kg and a bag of 20 kg flour by Rs700 all of its stores across the country.
The price of white gram is Rs20-40 per kg and dal gram is Rs15-20 per kg less than the market. Similarly, dal masoor prices are available at Rs30 to Rs40 per kg. A subsidy of Rs20 per kg is also being given on these pulses.
Apart from this, more than 1,500 other items are also being provided free from the general market in the utility stores.