Amritsar, February 14
Amid rise in retail inflation, middle and lower income groups are among the worst-hit from the price rise in essential commodities.
Commodities such as detergents, soaps, spices, cooking oil, cereals, pulses and other essential items have recorded the rise of 15 to 25 per cent in the past over month.
There is no plausible reason for the price rise. The government failed to prevent rise in the prices of essential commodities and to check black marketing. High inflation on these essential commodities prompt customers to reduce consumption. Comrade Buta Ram, office-bearer, Amritsar Retail Karyana Merchants Association
Sharpest rise of 20 to 25 per cent was witnessed in detergent powders and washing soaps of almost all brands. Similar, hike in the price of bath soaps of all brands was recorded.
The price of wheat flour rose from Rs 28 to Rs 32 per kg, rajma (kidney bean) from Rs 120 to Rs 150 per kg, chickpea from Rs 120 to Rs 160. Sharpest rise was recorded in the spices like cumin seeds from Rs 250 to Rs 400 per kg, fenugreek from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per kg. The prices of ajwain (carom seed) and saunf (fennel seed) were also increased by nearly 25 per cent.
Comrade Buta Ram, office-bearer, Amritsar Retail Karyana Merchants Association, said there was no plausible reason for the price rise. The government failed to prevent rise in the prices of essential commodities. He added that the government’s effort to check black marketing also remained futile.
He said high inflation on these essential commodities prompt customers to reduce consumption of these materials which adversely affect their sale. He said karyana stores were a major source of employment for common people. These stores were now at the target of big corporate houses.
He recalled that the then Dr Manmohan Singh government had constituted a Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households, commonly known as Nachiket Mor committee, which had estimated that there were about 5.77 crore retailers who employ about 12 crore people in the country. These were those small entrepreneurs who were deemed to be fit for the government aid. No longer, they stand in the priority list of the government, he regretted.