Price rise send family budgets haywire
NEW DELHI: Even as India's economy is said to boom, millions of its citizens are groaning under soaring prices of vegetables and food grains and
wish the government would do something about this, reports from across the country say.
From Chandigarh in the north, to Ranchi in the east and from Bhopal in central India to Kerala in the south, a cacophony of voices has been raised against the relentless price rise, with the common man wondering when things would return to normal.
While the poor have been worst hit, the middle class is also feeling the pinch.
Tomatoes are selling at up to Rs 50 a kilo, cauliflower at Rs 42 a kilo and chillies at Rs 70 a kilo, playing havoc with household budgets and forcing people to drastically scale down purchases of non-essential commodities.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, at a news briefing here Thursday, made a passing reference to rising prices of vegetables, even as he focused on steps the government was taking to control the prices of food grains.
But, even more than wheat, sugar and pulses, it is the rising prices of vegetables that have hit the common man the hardest.
The national capital is no exception to the rising trend, with tomatoes costing over Rs 40 per kilo against Rs 15 a couple of weeks ago, cauliflower at over Rs 42 per kilo and okra at over Rs 22.
Among pulses, moong dal is selling at Rs 60-70, an increase Rs 3-13 against a week ago.
"For the past two weeks the prices of vegetables are affecting our budget. Looking at the high tomato price, we have curbed its use," said housewife Romi Dash.
"Earlier we used to consume over three kg of tomatoes every week, but for the last two weeks we are managing just one-and-a-half kilo," Dash added.
Traders said that while un-seasonal rain and a severe heat wave had affected production, the hike in fuel prices was also responsible for the rising prices.
"Low production coupled... [continues]
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