Take a look at your grocery list and count how many items on your list aren’t made in Pakistan. Your shampoo, milk, toothpaste, cereal, soap, baby products, cooking oil and processed food products are all going to become more expensive if they are manufactured in other countries.
The devaluation of the rupee has forced traders to limit imports, which will eventually cause a rise in the price of imported items by 35 to 40%.
Almost 50% of food items in Pakistan are being imported, the Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association’s (KWGA) patron-in-chief, Anis Majeed, told SAMAA Digital. This includes milk and milk products, processed foods, wheat, dry fruit, tea, spices, oil seeds, oil and daal (lentils).
While it is not possible to find a local alternative to every imported item, SAMAA Digital has compiled a list of products manufactured in Pakistan that could be cheaper alternatives to imported goods.
Baby products: Mom&Me (baby oil, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby talcum powder, body lotions)
Body spray/deodorant: Bold
Milk products: Millac (dairy powder, condensed milk, butter, ghee), GoodMilk, Adam’s (cheese, lassi, pasteurized milk, desi ghee, yogurt)
Handwash: Capri, Necos
Soap: Capri, Saeed Ghani, Tibet, Dew
Toothpaste: Revand, Miswak, English
Shampoo: English Shampoo, Saeed Ghani, Bioamla, Necos, WBHemani
Pasta: Kolson, Bake Parlor
Chocolate spread: Youngs
Cereal: Fauji, WBHemani
Chocolate syrup: Salman’s
Drink mix: Tang (the locally made one), Limopani, Sunsip, Mitchells, National, Shezan, Quice, Hamdard
Sanitary Pads: Butterfly, Trust, Spot-free
Diapers: Bonapapa, Leo
Canned corn: National, Mitchells
Biscuits: Peak Freans, Lu, Bisconi
Confectionery items: Candyland, Mitchells, Hilal, Cadbury, Mayfair
Hair oil: Hamdard, Saeed Ghani, Hemani
Frozen Foods: Monsalwa, K&N’s, Menu
Going local would not only help you escape the price hike of imported goods, but will also be beneficial for the economy. However, the price of local commodities is expected to rise too, just not as much as imported products. Higher energy and fuel costs will make it more expensive to produce and transport locally made products.
But Anis said the price hike will be less compared to that of imported goods. “The increase in prices is imminent, given the devaluation of rupee and rise in petrol prices,” he added.
Another reason why local products will become more expensive is because Pakistan imports basic raw materials for food production.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan imported vegetables, fruits, nuts, coffee, cereal, milling products and oil seeds worth Rs202 million last year. The cost of importing live animals, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey costed Rs17 million. Processed food items including beverages, sugar and sugar confectionery, cocoa products, flour, and tobacco were worth Rs38 million.
Multinationals based in Pakistan, like Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble, make two versions of their products. The ones made abroad will cost more and look slightly different compared to those made in Pakistan.