CHARIKAR (Pajhwok): A number of hand-cart vendors in Charikar, the capital of central Parwan province, complain about low income and rising prices of daily use items and ask the government and charity organizations for assistance.
Mohammadjan, a 40-year-old vendor who sells a variety of socks, shampoos and toothpaste in Charikar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he is the caretaker of a family of eight and he earns 100 to 150 afghanis a day that could not meet his family’s basic needs.
He said that he was facing economic problems as he had low income and the prices of essential items were unaffordable for poor families.
“We eat only a loaf of bread with pepper or onion that also even if made accessible,” he said.
Pajhwok reports show that before the fall of the previous government in August last year, in Kabul, a bag of flour (49 kg) was sold for 2,000 afghanis, a bag of rice (24.5 kg) cost 2,400 afghanis, 16 liters of oil 2,100 afghanis, 49 kilograms of Pakistani sugar sold for 2,380 afghanis and one kilogram of Indonesian green tea for 320 afghanis, but now the price of flour has risen to 2,400 afghanis, rice to 2,500 afghanis, oil to 2,900 afghanis, Pakistani sugar to 2,800 afghanis and Indonesian green tea to 350 afghanis.
The prices of these items in Kabul are not much different from the rates in neighboring provinces.
The appreciation of the dollar against the Afghan currency is one of the main reasons of increasing prices.
The value of one US dollar was exchanged for 80 afghanis before the fall of the previous government, but the rate increased up to 130 afghanis after the fall and today, one US dollar is exchanged for 87.20afghanis.
Mohammad Musa, 54, is another man who runs a handcart for transferring people’s goods in exchange for money in Charikar city.
He also complains about the increase in primary items’ prices and unemployment. “I run a handcart to earn money and buy food, but there is little work opportunity and the prices of good have reached their peak, I work for 20 or 30 afghanis a day…, we are in need of help.”
Baryali, a 16-year-old boy, a resident of seventh police district of Charikar, sells vegetables on his handcart. He said his father had died and he was the only breadwinner of his family.
He complained about his poor economic situation and said, “I have been selling vegetables for two years, but sales are low this year; ,last year was better, I was earning up to 200 afghanis a day, but now I cannot earn more than 100 and some days 150 afghanis.”
He also complained about soaring prices of essential commodities and said, “Trust in God, we sold the furniture of our house because we wanted to survive, there was no other options for us.”
The vendors are asking the government and donor agencies to help them.
Mohammad Idris Hooshmand, Charikar municipality spokesman, said that with the political changes in the country in August last year, the value of the US dollar and the prices of goods increased.
He said that the municipality issued price lists to control price-hike and distributed new price lists in case of price changes.
Government officials say that they are working hard to resolve the country’s economic problems.