Economic activities, inflation growing. Price of food items, raw material increasing. Import duties be abolished to provide relief.

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(December 28, 2020)

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said economic activity and inflation are on the increase.

The price of food items, raw material as iron, steel, chemical etc. is increasing therefore the government should abolish all the import duties to provide relief to the masses, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the prices of wheat, flour, and sugar could not be stabilised despite import of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of these items costing billions.

The price of eggs is above Rs200 per dozen in all the major cities while its Rs250 in Quetta and other cities are facing biting cold.

The price of poultry feed has increased from Rs3000 to Rs 3700 while the price of palm oil in the international market has jumped by $400 to $450 per tonne pushing prices in the local market from Rs5200 to Rs7800 per maund.

The 16 kg container of ghee which was available at Rs200-2500 is now being sold at Rs5250 which should be noticed.

He noted that the price of coal has increased by 70 percent resulting in an increase in cement prices which coupled with the high price of steel bars is hitting the construction activities.

Cement companies use coal imported from South Africa, Indonesia and Australia which a mechanism to use local coal could not be developed otherwise situations may have been different.

He said that the price of steel scrap has jumped resulting in closure of many factories and increasing per tonne price of steel bars by Rs1500 to Rs1800 which can be reduced by abolishing duties.

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