Business & Economics
Fuel prices down, gold up in KabulBy Abdul Qadir Siddiqui Jan 12, 2012 - 16:30
KABUL (PAN): Fuel prices edged down, gold went up, but the rates of essential daily-use items stayed stable during the outgoing week in Kabul, dealers said on Thursday.
One litre of diesel cost 65 afghanis and the same amount of petrol 59 afghanis, against their last week's rates of 70afs and 62afs respectively, said Faqir Mohammad, who works at a filling station in the Qalacha area.
Abdul Baseer, a jeweler in the Lecce-i-Maryam neighbourhood, said the rate of one gram of Arabian gold increased from 2,100afs to 2,200afs and the same amount of Iranian variety from 1,750afs to 1,800afs. He linked the increase to international market trends.
However, the prices of daily-use items remained unchanged. A 50-kg sack of rice stayed stable at 2,500afs, a 5-kg tin of Spin Ghar ghee at 420afs, a kilo of African black tea at 190afs and the same amount of Indonesian green tea at 160afs.
Food Traders' Union head, Haji Fazl Rahman said the rate of a 50-kg sack of Pakistani flour worked out at 1,040afs and the same amount of Brazilian sugar at 2,160afs, the same rates as last week.
Despite efforts by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries to control the prices of liquefied gas, dealers in some parts of the capital continued to sell the commodity at a higher rate.
Like previous week, a kilo of gas sold for 55afs at the 30 government-run shops, but privately-run shops, which purchase gas from the authorities, sold a kilo of gas for 59afs.
A Taimani-based seller, Hayatullah, said he purchased a kilo of gas from the commerce ministry for 54afs and sold it for 59afs, the rate fixed by the government.
However, in other parts of the city, the rate hovered between 70afs and 75afs. A dealer in the Qala-i-Fathullah locality, Mansoor, said he sold a kilo of gas for 70afs. He was unable to answer the query why he sold the gas at a higher rate.
Likewise, another dealer in the Qala-i-Wazirabad area sold a kilo of gas for even more high rate, 75afs, arguing he had purchased a kilo for 69afs.
"I have purchased the gas a week back, while my shop remained closed for some days. I can't afford to sell it at a lower rate," the dealer, who did not provide his name, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
During the outgoing week, several gas shops were sealed after they were found overcharging consumers. The commerce ministry has launched a campaign to control the commodity price.
A firewood stall owner in the Qalacha area, Mohibullah, said the price of 560 kg of unpeeled oak was 6,800afs and that of pealed oak 6,500afs.
Moneychanger Mohammad Amin Jan Khosti said the buying rate of a US dollar was 49.40afs, while 1,000 Pakistani rupees accounted for 540afs. Last week's exchange value of the greenback stood at 49.35afs and 1,000 Pakistani rupees at 548afs.