Rising cost of living in Karachi!

As an urban location Karachi has always been slightly expensive to live in. Recently though the cost of living in this great city of ours has risen by astronomical amounts, with the cost of every day usage products going up by 30 – 40% in the last few months. If we study this increase in costs over the last 2 years we will see a difference of almost double in prices.

In Jan 2006, a five-litre tin of Dalda cooking oil was for Rs395, which has now increased to Rs750. Ghee saw a similar increase, with the five-litre tin going from Rs395 to Rs730. Similarly, Basmati rice went from Rs36 per kg to Rs85-90 during the same period, while kernel rice went from Rs50 per kg to Rs105. Basmati tota has gone from Rs22 per kg to Rs54-60, while Irri 9 is tagged at Rs65 as opposed to Rs16 per kg in Jan 2006.

Obviously nobodies income has doubled in the last two years, specially the salaried class. Therefore everyone is feeling the pinch of these rising costs. People are using less fuel, eating out less and buying only essentials to make their days go by.

The point is though, as an agri based nation how can we allow our prices to go up by so much? Most of this is a result of bad policing i.e the current export of rice from our nation, when there is a shortage of it locally.

I appeal to our new city government to please provide a subsidy in essential food products rather than spending it on meaningless flyovers. I know traffic has to be distributed as well, but the rate of suicides in this city is going up day by day, i would rather be stuck in a jam then see my fellow karachites stand in long lines for flour. I also appeal that immediate bans be placed on the export of all essential food groups from our city and nation.

19 Comments so far

  1. shoaib on May 8th, 2008 @ 8:03 pm


    Come on what are you talking. Atleast i dont expect this from you. Very kiddish thought. Infrastructure cost must not be compared with the food costs which you’re mentioning. Each is the responsibilities of two different governemnts and they have ot deal with their AOR separately. Why you never asked the Sindh or Federal Goverment to provide additional funds for all this crisis. I am disappointed to see your analysis and approach Faisal.

  2. MB (kar_munib) on May 8th, 2008 @ 10:42 pm

    Ever wonder what SHAUKAT AZIZ meant when he used to say about THE TRICKLE DOWN EFFECT of his policies coming in few years touching common man


    NOW PAY FOR it

  3. pkman on May 8th, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

    Unfortunately, this is the case all around the world. Prices have doubled or tripled in the last few years and this situation does not look like it will be resolved anytime soon. The only realistic solution is for people to consume less, for the government to cut down (but not eliminate) its exports, and for the farmers to plant more. All this will take time to implement, which may be of little consolation to those of us who have to bear the brunt of these rising costs.

  4. obiwankenobe on May 9th, 2008 @ 1:10 am

    @MB, dude you are always high, wat’s the problem with you. Just go and see the prices of rice futures or any other commodities on CME.

    Look at http://tinyurl.com/6qevut

    "But on the trading floor of the CBOT, which merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last year to form the CME Group, the chaos marks just another of a series of busy days in the market. Rice futures rose from $10.66 per hundred weight (or per hundred pounds) last May to more than $24 a few weeks ago, and then fell to a close of $21.60 on Wednesday."

  5. d0ct0r (d0ctor) on May 9th, 2008 @ 3:27 am

    we are an agri based country,no doubt the prices have risen worldwide but we here are not only witnessing raising of prices but complete disappearance of commodities altogether, thats called mismanagement(Salman Shah/Shortcut Aziz/Ashfaq Hasan etc), first export wheat at dirt cheap rates then import inferior quality animal grade wheat same is the story with rice and other essential food items,(just take a cue from india, they banned export of dairy product last yr when their local prices rised sharply and now they’ve banned export of rice to take care of rising prices)

  6. sufi on May 9th, 2008 @ 5:42 am

    The increment has been global. Please stop blaming everything that happens on either Musharraf or Shaukat Aziz. Food shortages are global as well, but certainly the way it has happened in Pakistan, the way cartels have successfully managed to fool the people and the government, has no other example.

    Solution? There isn’t any. Reduce the population. Eat less. Find alternatives. Pray to Allah.

  7. sufi on May 9th, 2008 @ 5:49 am

    I logged on to this blog after a while. I have to say that it has become yet another almost political rants page. I cant find any post which talks good of the city. I think all the authors are too ashamed of their city or their own people and just keep complaining about it.

    What a disgrace to a city I call home. Sigh!!!

  8. faylasuf on May 9th, 2008 @ 12:18 pm


  9. MB (kar_munib) on May 9th, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

    PAISTAN is an agricultural country where 69% is associated with land and agriculture and guess what ladies an gentlemen



  10. abdulsami on May 9th, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    Food crisis is Global, agreed its short everywhere. Then why the fucking hell you are exporting it when its short in your country????????????

  11. Shamsi (shamsi) on May 9th, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

    in this season mangoes will start from Rs. 80 / KG.. banana is already Rs. 45+ for 12

    why not GOVERNMET BAN export of all edibles to keep consumer cost low in local market-

    NO court will take suo-moto notice of such mess., they will act only if they do not get Mercedes for protocol….

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (adnansiddiqi) on May 9th, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

    NO court will take suo-moto notice of such mess., they will act only if they do not get Mercedes for protocol…

    because court is being run by Musharraf’s guys like Doggar so you can’t expect suo moto action anymore. Infikhar did take suo moto actions against food inflation. it seems you were not used to read papers at that time.

  13. mastqalandar on May 10th, 2008 @ 1:22 am

    Well we do need the flyovers and yes we do need to get cheaper edible items too.

    Agri business is big in North America but still the pricess doubled for wheat flour.

    I feel its more of *aritifical shortage* and huge hedge funds betting on commodities. You want it – Pay the price I demand.

    When there are no rules, no ethics and no justice, it will be chaos every where.

  14. mastqalandar on May 10th, 2008 @ 2:04 am

    Becareful what you wish for…..

    Soon the Govt may start to fund the Feudal Land Lords to increasing farming, claiming that this will bring down the commodity prices :)

    The number of parasites in our society is increasing because they are flourished by our system. So becareful what you wish for. :)

  15. بستنی (wasiq) on May 10th, 2008 @ 2:09 am

    you guys must be exhausted by now let me chip in my two dimes….

    The self centered and loner as iam my economy is all Aid based just like Pakistan on a macro level remember Mr Aziz used to talk about at length he must have learned it from somewhere…the americans realized iam not even trying lifted the ten year old sanctions and reimbursed with an apology.the gracious saudi’s and the british are wary of the rising oil prices are seriously thinking about increasing the aid package…the Canadians and the Indonesians are desperate to join the donors club if they did I’ll be having lunch in Dubai with my two bodyguards…world geography and Pakistan studies have always been my favorite subjects..lol

    On the expense side…i don’t use petrol not even in the darkest hours
    Dalda is free…very few people i know deep fry pakora’s in dalda….monsoon is just around the corner…let it rain..
    Rice i only use in biryani…it was Rs40/-per plate last year now it is Rs 50/- going 60/-
    pepsi can/pet500ml was Rs 20/- last year now it is Rs25/-

    The point is it ain’t that bad for me the worst affected are those who took leasing from banks during Mr Aziz. the banks may not enjoy the same kind of freedom as it did they are the worst hit by the democracy in pakistan always….

  16. Adnan Siddiqi (adnansiddiqi) on May 10th, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    despite of all mehangai, I see Karachiites have not quit buying Extra things and yet keep wasting money here and there.

  17. d0ct0r (d0ctor) on May 10th, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

    well people are already on the roads, power/water/food riots would be common in coming days

    Protest held Against water shortage

    can’t seem to find an option to ‘suggest a story’ this issue deserves a separate post

  18. seskey on May 13th, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

    and why is that we have to wait at BBQ tonite. MacDonalads, Subway, Pizza Hut, and eateries are still doing business ?

    why is that traffic chaos is increasing despite hike in fuel prices?

    is it only on surface of storm which will thunder in shape of massive violance, loot, plunder and anarchy AND again people have to turn back and look at army as their saviors???? – admit it civilised class we cannot afford democracy at either level be it our homes

  19. Reform needed!! | Karachi Metblogs (pingback) on May 19th, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

    […] to be. It comes as no surprise that a people, already barely able to make ends meet in the face of sharp price increases, have finally found a voice to express their grievances. The actions of the past week carry […]

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