Consumer Association of Pakistan announced for boycott of purchasing milk
Consumers Association of Pakistan has announced a complete boycott of purchasing expensive milk for a week. Consumers are joining the boycott campaign against expensive milk to assert their rights. United as consumers, they can make a significant impact on profiteers. Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman of Consumer Association of Pakistan, stated in a press conference that the Karachi Commissioner should take steps to ensure the sale of milk at the government-prescribed rate.
The government has set the price of milk at Rs. 180, while the Dairy Association is challenging the government rate by adding Rs. 20 to the milk price. Milk is being sold in the market at Rs. 230 to Rs. 240, which is causing concern for the lower and middle classes who are worried about buying milk for their children and households due to the increasing inflation.
The Consumer Association of Pakistan, representing the consumers, has launched a boycott campaign against expensive milk purchases starting from tomorrow for one week. It is hoped that if consumers show their strength by participating in the boycott campaign, dairy farmers will be forced to reduce prices. Mr. Kaukab Iqbal emphasized that in the emergency meeting, where media representatives were also present, over the past two years, milk prices have been constantly increasing. As a result, the government rate has reached Rs. 180. However, whenever the government has set a rate, it has been witnessed that milk sellers have sold milk at their own rates rather than the government-prescribed rate, looting illegal profits of Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 extra. But the Commissioner of Karachi, who also holds the position of Controller General Prices, has never taken strict action against them. If legal action were taken against profiteering milk sellers and tough measures were taken against those challenging the government rate, milk sellers would not dare to set their own rates.
The Consumer Association of Pakistan has always maintained the position that consumers should have access to milk, fruits, vegetables, and groceries in the market according to the government-prescribed rates, ensuring the provision of goods at the government rates is the responsibility of the Karachi Commissioner and all Deputy Commissioners. However, consumers have never been able to find items at the government-prescribed rates. Despite the enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act in all provinces of the country, the act does not seem to be implemented properly, from vegetable vendors to the President of Pakistan, all consumers face this issue.
The Sindh Food Authority should also check the purity of milk being sold in Karachi to see if the people of Karachi are buying expensive and adulterated milk. It is common knowledge that water is added to milk, but is that water purified and free from germs? Nowadays, people no longer prefer tap water, which is why the bottled water business is booming. Kaukab Iqbal pointed out that the government has never set prices for yogurt and buttermilk along with milk. Milk sellers are daily increasing the prices of both these items without any justification, resulting in profiteering. On the other hand, the Bureau of Supply’s department, responsible for checking weights and measures, is also not functioning properly, which is why many shopkeepers are selling milk in Seer instead of liters.
Kaukab Iqbal asked the government to inquire from dairy farmers if they own their own dairy farms or if they have taken possession of land and established them. How much electricity and water bills do they pay for their buffaloes? How many times do they have their buffaloes checked by a veterinarian in a month? Are their buffaloes healthy, whose milk is being sold in Karachi? Are the utensils used by shopkeepers in Karachi hygienic? How many times do milk sellers clean their utensils according to hygiene standards? How many milk sellers adhere to the SOPs of the Sindh Food Authority? Has any physical examination of the staff present in the milk shops been conducted because the laws of the Sindh Food Authority apply to milk vendors just like they do to restaurants? They made it clear that if the milk sellers and the Dairy Association do not immediately withdraw their self-imposed additional charges, the boycott campaign can be extended beyond one week. Kaukab Iqbal said that consumers, while safeguarding their rights, should actively participate in the Consumer Association of Pakistan’s boycott campaign against expensive milk so that they can teach a lesson to milk sellers who are adding an additional Rs. 20. Kaukab Iqbal said that he is also sending letters to Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Governor Sindh Kamran Khan Tessori, and Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput regarding the increasing prices of milk, urging them to take action against it.