The rising prices of essential commodities in retail markets are hurting the common man. Prices of pulses like arhaar and urad dal have seen an almost 100% increase since last year and are being sold at around Rs 200/kg each in Delhi. Prices of common vegetables like onions, tomatoes and garlic have also sky-rocketed and are being sold in Delhi for around Rs 50, Rs 70 and Rs 200 per kg respectively.
Pinki Kohli, a resident of Patel Nagar in Delhi, told The Sunday Guardian: “It is becoming really difficult to manage the kitchen; everything is beyond the budget. This time last year, prices of tomatoes were somewhere between Rs 10-15/kg and now it is almost six times more. These are necessities and we cannot do without them in the kitchen,” she said, adding, “it is not only vegetables, even dal and edible oils have become costly.”
Though there is a Price Monitoring Cell (PMC) in the Department of Consumer Affairs, it seems to have failed to check rising prices. “The government has been successful in controlling inflation, but prices of certain agricultural commodities increased in the recent past due to unseasonal rains and drought-like conditions in some parts of the country. The government is doing what it has to do to control these prices,” said G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, BJP spokesperson. “It is for the state governments to check hoarders and not the Central government,” Rao said.
The Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi has expressed its concern over the issue, blaming strong nationwide “hoarder lobbies” at work for the rise in prices. The AAP called for coordinated action between the Centre and state governments to tackle the issue. “We will ensure that hoarding does not happen in Delhi and people rigging prices are brought to book,” said Deepak Bajpai, AAP spokesperson. “Being in the opposition, we will raise this issue in the winter session of Parliament. We are committed to fighting against all anti-people policies of this government,” said AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmad.