If high rice prices have upset his budget, onion prices bring him tears
The price spiral of essential commodities, particularly rice, has upset the budget calculations of many a family. Prices of popular rice varieties have registered a sharp rise in the last 10 days bringing misery to the common man. Consumers are now forced to shell out an extra five to six rupees for a kg of rice.
For instance, the much sought after Sona Masoori rice now comes for Rs. 40 to Rs. 43 per kg in the wholesale market. Retail dealers are selling the same anywhere between Rs. 41 and Rs. 45 a kg.
The average price of fine quality HMT rice is Rs. 45 in the wholesale market and Rs. 48 in the retail market. Even the new crop of Sona Masoori rice is priced in the range of Rs. 38-39 a kg.
Traders attribute the price hike to shortfall in rice production on account of scanty rainfall. The recent increase in freight charges due to increase in diesel prices is another factor.
Traders feel the rice prices are likely to go up further in the days to come. “It might touch the Rs. 50 mark”, says Dilip Pansari, Hyderabad and Secunderabad Retail Kirana Dealers Association.
Kirana merchants are worried about their slender margin of profit. In view of the sharp increase in the rice price, they are forced to remain content with a profit of just Rs. 1 to 2 per kg. “We are compelled to cut down our profit margin”, says Akbar, a kirana trader at Bazaar Ghat. Onion is another food item which is making consumers teary eyed.
Prices of this essential product have risen sharply in the last few days. Good quality onion is now priced between Rs. 25 and Rs. 30 a kg. A few days ago, it was available for Rs. 18-20 a kg.
“To say the price hike is horrible is an understatement. The government has utterly failed in controlling prices”, fumes Kavita, a housewife. The same view is shared by many others.
However, there is not much increase in the rate of pulses. The commonly used red gram is available in the range of Rs. 65-75 a kg. The Chana Dal is priced between Rs. 49 and Rs. 50 and Moong Dal between Rs. 73 and Rs. 75.