Some groceries for food rationing are occasionally delivered to rural state-run shops of Lebap velayat to be sold at government-established prices.
Last week residents of the villages of Farap, Dovletly, Khalach and Darganat could purchase their allowance (popularly referred to as “ration”) of sugar, flour, vegetable oil and chicken drumsticks, correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report.
A monthly allowance per person includes 4 kilos of flour, 400 grams of sugar, a liter of vegetable oil and one chicken drumstick.Subsidized prices in state-run stores are considerably lower than those in the market or at privately-owned shops. For instance, a kilo of 1st grade Turkmen flour in state-run shops costs 1 manat, whereas a one-kilo pack of imported flour is sold at 12 to 15 manats at the market.
The fixed price of sugar is 7 to 8 manats per kilo, whereas it is available at 10 to 16 manats in the market.The price for vegetable oil in a state-run shop is 13 manats whereas in the market it is sold at 25 manats.
A kilo of chicken drumsticks in a state-run shop costs 12 compared to 15 to 20 manats in the market.
The difference in price causes serious disruption and big crowds, which are formed in front of state-run shops when groceries in short supply arrive.
Shop assistants take advantage of the big demand to sell off other slow-moving merchandise.A customer is obliged to purchase a pack of Chinese rice, a jar of tomato sauce, two bottles of fruit juice and other unpopular groceries.
An additional fee of 0.5 manats is charged per plastic bag, which is used to pack each grocery item, although in Turkmenabat (the capital of the region) it costs 0,1 manat.
Residents repeatedly complain about the arbitrariness of shop managers to the district police officer and the head of the local administration, but the latter refuse to take any notice.
Meanwhile, the food ration was sold out in 3 to 4 days. Inhabitants of remote villages failed to obtain their food ration. People complain that they are not informed about the arrival of groceries in short supply and they get the news, often late, through “the word-of-mouth”.
Families from rural areas whose elders are invited to various state events receive one sack of flour a month as a gift from the President.
A similar situation, according to Radio “Azatlyk”, is being observed in districts of Mary velayat and even in Ashgabat.
On 18 November, in the village of Geokdepe of Bairamali etrap, local residents were obliged to buy rubber sandals for 10 manats in order to qualify to buy the ration of 1 liter of vegetable oil in a state-run shop.
On 19 November, 2020 eggs and chicken drumsticks were suddenly sold 15 minutes before the lunch closing time in the Ashgabat store “Desse”. Customers had to purchase rice in the set.
On 20 November, fruits and tomatoes were sold at state prices in the Ashgabat market “Gundogar” with 10 kilos of rotting potatoes sold in addition.
Let us recall that the shortage of groceries in state-run stores appeared after the economic slump and the introduction of the ban on the exchange of foreign currency and foreign money transfers in 2016. Up until that time prices for groceries in privately-owned and state-run stores had been approximately the same.
The measures of foreign currency regulations led to an increase in the dollar value on “the black market”.At that time, the official dollar exchange rate was 3,5 manats whereas the dollar is currently sold at 25 manats, which is seven times as much.
This, in turn, has affected the cost of imported produce with prices increasing in privately-owned shops because shop owners have no opportunity to convert foreign currency at the official rate.
State prices are still established based on the official rate of foreign currency.The post Groceries in short supply are sold in a set with other slow moving merchandise in state-run shops first appeared on Chronicles of Turkmenistan.