The increase in commodity and other costs is leading people to trim spending on entertainment and eating, a survey observed here, conducted by Daily Times, on Sunday. The provincial capital and port city, Karachi is experiencing a surge in the prices of kitchen basics and poultry because of the nonstop surge in dollar rate and a recent increase in fuel prices. The price of onions and potatoes at retail marketplaces in the city rose from Rs40 and Rs45 per kilogramme on Friday to Rs50 and R60 per kilogramme on Sunday. In contrast to weekend retail pricing of Rs160 per dozen and Rs280 per kg, eggs and chicken were on sale at Rs180 per dozen and Rs340 per kg, respectively. “In the previous two days, the price of all grains, cooking oil and ghee, and flour in the wholesale market went up, which is affecting the prices of retail establishments,” Karachi’s Scheme-33 retail market shopkeeper Javed told Daily Times during the survey on Sunday. Because of the economic lockdown caused by the virus, lower incomes and job layoffs are hurting households, who also have to contend with rising prices. A family of four is now facing the uncertainty of survival in Karachi after a private company fired an employee, Shehensha. He claims that food expenses have skyrocketed and that income has ceased because of the Covid-related slump. A local trader of the wholesale fruits and vegetable market said, “Due to two reasons, wholesale prices have increased. First, demand, and second, fuel prices have gone up, leading to a greater expense in transportation. Prompt intervention by the federal government is necessary. Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, the livelihoods of many people have already been damaged. At this critical juncture, such a price spike on staples would generate major panic.” A similar trend may be seen in the poultry industry. “Rising fuel prices mean increased transportation costs for us. As a result, the cost of chicken and eggs has increased at both the wholesale and retail levels,” according to a wholesale poultry business owner Muhammad Shakir, the increased weight of transportation costs has begun to appear in prices. Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association chairman Abdul Rauf Muhammad Ibrahim while talking with Daily Times here on Sunday said the government lacks timely and accurate decisions. He said, “Pakistan has become an importing country, our exports are nothing so the increase in the value of the dollar will lead to an increase in the price of everything. Now the government has decided to buy Moong and other pulses again. My advice to the government is that we have more Moong than we need. Importing lentils and sugar would be the right decision.” “Oil prices are not as affected as the rising dollar,” Rauf said. The dollar which was at Rs.153, today is close to 170. Its effect is directly on the retail market which the ordinary consumer has to suffer, he added.