The Pakistan government shocked consumers by pushing up ghee and cooking oil rates by an unprecedented Rs 208 and Rs 213 to an all-time high of Rs 555 per kg and Rs 605 per litre respectively.
An official in the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) in Karachi confirmed to Dawn that the USC had issued a notification of this whopping jump in ghee and cooking oil rates effective June 1.
The official, however, did not comment as to why the rates had been jacked up so mercilessly which would hit the consumers badly.
The maximum rate of ghee and cooking of renowned brands in the retail markets still hovers between Rs 540-560 per kg/litre.
However, Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) Secretary-General Umer Islam Khan hinted that the retail rates of ghee and cooking oil would soon come on a par with USC prices.
He said ghee/cooking oil manufacturers have stopped giving the products on credit to the USC as the corporation had not cleared outstanding Rs 2-3 billion to the manufacturers.
Umer said the Prime Minister Task Force Committee on Supply of Palm Oil comprising officials of relevant ministries and PVMA office-bearers has been holding daily zoom meetings to analyse the demand and supply situation of palm oil, Dawn reported.
He said around 160,000 tonnes of palm oil stocks are available at the twin ports of Karachi which are sufficient for three weeks of consumption. Despite the lifting of an export ban by Indonesia on palm oil on May 23, not a single loaded vessel had been on the high seas or at Indonesia port for shipments to Pakistan.