Prices for staples such as flour, fruits and vegetables are still inflated in Afghanistan despite the now-open borders between Afghanistan and other countries in the region, according to residents in Kabul who spoke to TOLOnews on Thursday.
Residents said that neither the Afghan government nor the private sector has been able to control the prices in the local markets and give relief to thousands of people under pressure from the COVID-19 lockdown.
Meanwhile, officials of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) have said that there is no excuse for merchants and others in the business community to sell at a high price while goods are now flowing from other countries into Afghanistan.
With the spread of coronavirus in the country, the prices increased by 30 percent in the local markets. The border crossings with Pakistan were initially closed, but are now opened part-time for the transport of goods.
“They do not fear Allah–businessmen still sell at higher prices,” said Nazeer Ahmad, a resident in Kabul.
“The people are very poor, no one has the ability to afford these higher prices, I don’t understand what to do,” said Abdul Raqib, a resident in Kabul.
“There are ups and downs in the prices–yesterday one case of flour was being sold for 1800 afs, but today it is 1900 ads. The shopkeepers get only 20 afs benefit from it,” said Sher Agha, a shopkeeper in Kabul.
“The ports are opened, our business continues as normal, but we can’t prevent hoarding,” said Sayed Zaman Hashemi, the Chief Executive of ACCI.
Despite persistent efforts, TOLOnews’s reporter could not manage to obtain a comment from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
Residents called on the Afghan government to take action and fix the prices.