The crisis of the Pakistani economy is deepening with each passing day and is affecting every sector of the economy. There are rules to check and balance the prices of groceries, but they are never enforced, said Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association chairman Abdul Rauf Muhammad Ibrahim while talking with Daily Times on Tuesday. Purchasing power has been severely affected by inflation and depreciation of the Pak rupee. Every month kitchen items become more expensive and the deprived segment of the society is always busy with bread and butter issues, Rauf added. According to a report, the government has decided to import 0.6 million metric tons (MMT) of sugar modifying the ECC decision of January 20, 2021, to import 0.5 MMT target through Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) as strategic reserves. Data published by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) shows that the price of sugar was on the rise after January and is still showing an upward trend which is causing hardships for the general public. Sugar price has surged to around Rs110 and Rs115 per kg in few markets of Karachi. Market sources are of the view that sugar prices might further increase in the coming days. The chairman of Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association Abdul Rauf Muhammad Ibrahim said the population of the country is increasing day by day while the government has very old data on sugar consumption. The consumption of sugar in the country is very high contrary to government estimates and during the festive months like Ramazan, Eids, Muharram, and Rabi-ul-Awal, the consumption of sugar increases manifold. “Despite being an agricultural country, we are importing almost all sorts of commodities except rice and wheat,” he said. Rauf suggested to the government that the permit issued for the import of pulses should be fixed as per the total quantity required, following the system in place all over the world including India. In Pakistan, few traders have imported more pulses than they need, which has hurt our foreign exchange and pushed up commodity prices, creating an artificial crisis that increases consumption and prices. Government’s wrong policies are increasing inflation”, he added. Due to the raised prices of oil and petroleum products, the prices of sugar, flour, and cooking oil/ghee have been hiked sharply while the prices of pulses have been reduced all over the world including Pakistan. The wholesale prices of pulses in Pakistan have fallen sharply, but the people are not getting any benefit from this reduction. “Pulses are getting more expensive to the people, so government should have fixed the kitchen items at a certain level, whether the price of anything is low or more people get kitchen items at a fixed rate, but due to concerned departments’ incompetence and the failure of the price control system, in case of increase in the price of any item, the people have to bear the cost of inflation while if the price of the item goes down then the people are deprived of this benefit and even the cheaper items are forced to buy at higher prices which provides some people an opportunity to make big money,” a local trader said.