Amid the soaring inflation in Pakistan, the newly formed government has abruptly increased the prices of edible oil and ghee by an unprecedented Rs 208 and Rs 213 to an all-time high of Rs 555 per kg and Rs 605 per litre, The Dawn reported. According to the Pakistani media, the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) has confirmed the tremendous increase in cooking oil prices and added the new rates will be effective from Wednesday, June 1. However, when the Pakistani English daily contacted the government, none of the concerned ministers comment on why the rates had been jacked up so mercilessly.

Meanwhile, commenting on the sudden increase in prices, Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) Secretary-General Umer Islam Khan told The Dawn that the retail rates of edible oil would soon come on a par with USC prices. According to him, ghee/cooking oil manufacturers have stopped giving the products on credit to the USC. He claimed that the outfit had not cleared outstanding Rs 2-3 billion to the manufacturers. The PVMA Secretary-General said that the Prime Minister Task Force Committee on Supply of Palm Oil has recently held a high-level meeting to analyse the demand and supply situation of palm oil.

Notably, Pakistan is highly dependent on imports to meet the domestic demands for edible oil. According to the Pakistani media, the country of 229,066,603 people, imports palm oil from Indonesia (87%) and Malaysia (13%). As per Khan, around 1, 60,000 tonnes of palm oil stocks are available at the twin ports of Karachi which are sufficient for three weeks of consumption.

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif promises to reduce prices 

It is worth noting that the country has been witnessing massive inflation with flour costs of around Rs 65 per kg. Pakistan has also been reeling under high gas prices. On several occasions, the Pakistan government blamed the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war behind the surge in gas prices, but in reality, it has been facing high gas prices for the past year. Meanwhile, the incumbent Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, promised to reduce the prices. Sharif said he will reduce the flour price even “if he has to sell his clothes.”