Kabul residents speak against price-gouging, hoarding

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Residents in Afghanistan’s capital asked the government to take action against the surging price hikes and hoarding by merchants in the city and to provide relief to poor families. For many, the situation is growing desperate because of the ongoing lockdown that prevents many people from working.

“One pack of butter was between 50 to 55 Afs, but now it is sold for 80 Afs during the holy month of Ramadan, one pack dates has increased from 80 to a 100 Afs,” said Khalid, a resident in Kabul.

“The prices are rising day by day, on one hand there is Ramadan and quarantine, on the other hand, the people have no jobs,” said Zaki Mohammadi, another resident in Kabul.

But traders say that price hikes are normal during Ramadan because of the increasing demands of the people.

“The prices of butter and dates are increasing because of high demands,” said Sayed Munir, a trader in Kabul. This comes a week after the prices of eggs was increased massively in the country.

“We hope that traders and producers avoid hoarding and unethical sales in the market during the holy month of Ramadan,” said Akbar Rustami, a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

Experts meanwhile suggested the government work on strengthening its strategic reserves.

“The Afghan government needs to show more efficiency in boosting its strategic reserves and seeking alternate routes for imports so that the people do not face a shortage of food during the holy month of Ramadan,” said Amin Babk, the head of the media and public relations department of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment. (TOLOnews)