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    Gas down, gold & fuel up in Kabul

    KABUL (PAN): Gas price came down and gold and fuel went up, while the rates of essential daily-use items stayed stable during the outgoing week in Kabul, dealers said on Thursday.

    One litre of diesel cost 66 afghanis ($1.33) and the same amount of petrol 62afs, against last week's rates of 65afs and 59afs respectively, a filling station worker in the Taimani neighbourhood said.

    Siddiqullah told Pajhwok Afghan News a kilo of gas sold for 55afs at the 30 government-run shops, but privately-run shops, which purchase the commodity from the authorities, charges 59afs for the same amount.

    A gas dealer in the Pul-i-Pacha area, Khalid Ahmad, said he sold a kilo of gas for 65afs against its last week's price of 75afs.

    During the outgoing week, around 35 gas shops were sealed after they were found overcharging consumers. The commerce ministry has launched a campaign to control the commodity price, said the head of the fuel department at the Ministry of Commerce, Farid Sherzai.

    As a result of recent imports, the wholesale price of liquefied gas would be brought down to 55afs, he said, explaining the retail rate would be 60afs next week.

    A firewood stall owner in the Qala-i-Fathullah locality, Husain Ali, said the price of 560 kg of unpeeled oak was 6,800afs and that of pealed oak 6,500afs -- the same as last week.

    Food Traders' Union head, Fazlul Rahman, said rates of food items remained stable, with a 50-kg bag of Pakistani rice selling for 2,500afs and the same amount of Brazilian sugar for 2,160afs.

    A five-kg tin of Spin Ghar ghee cost 420afs, a kilo of black tea 190afs and green tea 160afs. A 50-kg sack of Pakistani flour edged down to 1,010afs from last week's 1040afs, he added.

    Wholesale prices of eatables varied from retail rates in some parts of the city. Nisar Ahmad, a shopkeeper in the Qala-i-Fathullah area, sold a 50-kg sack of Pakistani flour for 1,170afs.

    He said the same amount of Pakistani rice cost 2,700afs and a 50-kg bag of Brazilian sugar 2,350afs. A five-kg tin of ghee was priced at 470afs, a kg of African back tea at 200afs and the same amount of Indonesian green tea at 190afs.

    Abdul Baseer, a jeweler in the Lecce-i-Maryam neighbourhood, said the rate of one gram of Arabian gold increased from 2,200afs to 2,250afs and the Iranian variety from 1,800afs to 1,850afs. He linked the increase to international market trends.

    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.

    myn/mud



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