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Distressed consumers ask govt. to step in to arrest soaring prices of key commodities

New Delhi/Mumbai, Aug. 17 (ANI): The soaring prices of key commodities due to the falling value of the rupee have left consumers in distress throughout the country, and they have appealed to the Centre to curb the current inflation.

The prices of onion, in particular, continue to appreciate through the country giving consumers no respite of feeling the pinch in their pockets.

Consumers were disappointed even in the wholesale vegetable market in New Delhi on Saturday because the prices of key commodities remained high.

“The price of onion has increased almost six times. It used to cost us Rs. 10 per kilogram but now it is almost six times the price. Our salaries have not increased six times and it has become very tough for us to manage our households,” said Sushil Kumar, a consumer in New Delhi.

Vegetable sellers said the reason for the spurt in the price of onion was due to shortage of onions at the source of the supplier.

In Mumbai, consumers urged the Central Government to take steps to cut the onion prices as it is a necessity commodity-even for the poor.

“Onion is a basic necessity. Even the poor man can make a ‘roti’ and eat it with onion and salt, if they cannot afford a proper meal. With the prices spiraling, it is tough not only for the poor but also for the middle class to survive. The Government needs to control the prices and take some action,” said Om Prakash Paharia, a consumer in Mumbai.

In the past, there have been occasions when the widespread public discontent and anger over high prices, especially of onion, became the rallying point of public anger and political opposition.

In 1998, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the Delhi elections because it could not curb the appreciation in onion prices.

Patchy rainfall in central and southern India at the beginning of monsoon season and heavy rainfall in July, in few areas, delayed sowing and affected the growth of selected crops, lifting the prices of vegetables in the markets.

Food prices, another important factor of inflation in the country, are expected to have remained stable last month, although the rising fuel costs and shortages in supply of key items suggest that there will be a pick-up in the near future. (ANI)