Thursday, January 18, 2018
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The prices of onions and other essential items are once again shooting up. I was surrounded by some consumers who said: ‘From where are we to get the money to make then purchases?’ Surprisingly enough, reports indicate that in the wholesale market the prices are still low. Why then has the administration stopped the good experiment that it had carried out before Diwali?

The prices of onions had come down to Rs40 in the retail market as well. But now that is not so.
The angry people were saying that the good work done by the administration was apparently halted by vested interests who wanted the retailers to make maximum profits. As one wagging tongue remarked: ‘These retail vendors say that they are being fleeced for election funds. Some of them are being asked to donate for Lok Sabha polls too. In the face of such demands, how can the administration intervene to bring down the prices even if it wants to?’ I don’t know how far this allegation is true. But these days when all sorts of allegations are being made, one cannot blame at least the gullible if they believe some of the rumours which are draped in convincing arguments even though they might be totally false.
As I said the other day, the wedding season is on. Demand for vegetables has shot up. And this trend will continue till the wedding season lasts.
It is not just the vegetable prices which are sky-rocketing at an uncontrolled pace. The prices of fruits have gone up too, to say nothing of the cereals. The Government employees, who  have been getting the benefit of enhanced pay and allowance following the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations , want still more. But those working with private organizations are not that lucky at all. In fact some units are claiming that they are undergoing losses and have even threatened to retrench temporary labour. This might be a tactics to ward off the demand for higher pay. But that would not change the reality of the situation which is very, very grim.

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