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Lahore: Split ACs prices rise amid budget and supply concerns
06-11-2009, 07:40 AM
Post: #1
Lahore: Split ACs prices rise amid budget and supply concerns
* Customers believe shortage is artificial, have to pay extra for immediate delivery

By Nauman Tasleem

LAHORE: Split air conditioners (ACs) are in short supply in the city, with their prices rising by around 15 percent to 45 percent, a survey conducted by Daily Times has found.

Sources in the market said the traders of such ACs had held back the supply as they anticipated a rise in split AC prices in the coming federal budget.

However, traders denied this by saying the manufacturers had withheld supply.

Split ACs are in a shortage in two main markets in the city – Abid Market and Hall Road. The shopkeepers generally ‘book’ the customers’ orders, and ask them to wait around 15 days for delivery. The customers are forced to pay an added amount to get immediate delivery.

The prices of 1-tonne and 1.5-tonne split ACs have surged by around 15 to 45 percent as compared to last year. The highest increase is in the prices of 1-tonne ACs, whose prices have increased by around 30-40 percent. The prices of 1.5-tonne split ACs have increased by 15-25 percent.

Artificial shortage: Customers in various markets believed that the traders expected that the government would levy duties and taxes on split ACs, and had created an artificial shortage. “The government is expected to increase taxes on split ACs to discourage their use. This will make ACs expensive and I think that’s why the shopkeepers are stocking them,” Rizwan Ahmed, a customer said. He said he wanted to buy a 1-tonne split AC. “Two shopkeepers have told me that if I pay Rs 2,000 extra, I can get the AC within hours,” he said.

No control: Traders claimed that the prices of ACs had been raised by the manufacturers, and they did not control the prices. They said the high demand and the cut-down supply had created the shortage in the market. Sheikh Imran, who owns an electric appliances store, said, “We book our orders with the companies, who then supply us with the ACs. But, if we don’t get the supply, it’s not our fault.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp...009_pg13_5
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