Food prices on the rise during the Holy month of Ramadan
Wed Aug 01, 1:03 pm
A number of Jalalabad residents complained of severe food price increases during the first two weeks of the holy month of Ramadan. They said that there are no institutional controls to prevent arbitrary price increases, and that in Nangarhar there does not appear to be any governmental monitoring of the price hikes.
The residents claimed that not only had food prices risen but also the fresh fruit prices had reached unprecedented cost levels throughout the province.
The people blamed the Mayor of Nangarhar province for having no plan to control food prices in the city. They also asserted that no suitable actions had been taken to help mitigate the unfair price hikes.
Some of the shopkeepers claimed that they had received food items with high prices from the wholesale distributors in the markets and they have to pass along the higher food prices to the food buying public in Nagarhar province.
The wholesale food sellers rejected the shopkeepers’ claims that they had increased wholesale prices, and instead said that most of the small shops owners are dealing unfairly with the people.
The head controller of Municipal Food Items confirmed that food prices have increased, but added that efforts were underway to better control the food prices in the markets.
Food prices have increased in the markets not according to events that influence supply and demand, but according to the timing of Ramadan which has always concerned the people in the different parts of the country.
They say that the government of Afghanistan has tied its hands by accepting an Open Economic Market system at the national level and that is why they cannot control the food prices.
Some of the economy experts believe that an open economic market system without access to control of food prices are a legitimate challenge facing all free market economies and that the country needs a mixed market system.
Mixed market systems allow for special intervention during events such as Ramada, when people are unable to find competitive pricing without government controls over the price of food items in the markets.