Prices have risen sharply in just one month after a hefty hike in the price of diesel

A glance at the price list at the provision store is enough to worry a person. One would think about the ensuing festive season and the worries would double as the monthly budget for a household is no more sufficient. Prices have risen.

Take the case of rice, pulses, bus fares, auto fares or anything for that matter.

Prices have risen sharply in just one month, after a hefty hike in diesel prices. The cascading effect of diesel price hike is leaving many households high and dry.

“A kilo of sona masuri rice is now being sold at Rs.38 to Rs.40. To make matters worse, domestic LPG cylinder prices too have gone up steeply. It is tough for a middle class family to manage things when prices are hitting the roof,” fumes Pushpa, a homemaker living in Habsiguda.

The rise in transportation costs due to the spurt in freight charges announced by goods transport agencies had an impact on prices of many commodities.

Freight charge for a six-tyre truck from Hyderabad to Vijayawada cost about Rs.6,000 till last month and it has now increased to about Rs.6,700, says Ram Kumar Rathi, member of Hyderabad Goods Transport Association.

“Once the transportation picks up during the festive season, charges would increase further as there would be dearth of trucks to transport goods,” says Mr. Rathi.

In tune with the rise in transportation costs, prices of pulses have shot up.

Red Gram that was sold at Rs.72 per kg during the last two months is now being sold at Rs.78.

Similarly, the prices of Black Gram and Bengal Gram have increased from Rs.62 to Rs.70 a kg, depending on quality, says Bhawar Singh, president of Hyderabad and Secunderanbad Retail Dealers Association.

Be it rice, pulses, meat or eggs, prices of many commodities have gone up drastically. One is either forced to compromise on the quantity or quality. But as these are all essential commodities, it is getting hard to plan and implement monthly budgets, adds Rajeshwar Reddy, a private employee.

Given the increase in RTC bus and auto fares, many are forced to cough up extra budget for transportation.

The minimum fare in the city buses has increased from Rs.4 to Rs. 5 and the general bus pass that used to cost Rs.550, now costs Rs.650. At this rate, it would be appropriate to ride a bicycle to save transportation costs, says Mr. Reddy.

It is better not to mention the plight of daily wage earners and senior citizens, who find it difficult to meet the rising expenditure.

Earning a mere Rs.200 per day, many labourers are forced to borrow loans at high interest rates to cater to their children’s education needs, says A. Srinivas, former secretary of Bhavana Nirmana Karmika Sangham.