Though the major political parties in the State have promised several freebies to the common man , one of the main expectations of the public is measures to control prices.

“The government should focus on basic needs rather than freebies. Most of the households now have the basic kitchen equipment. So, the Government should give subsidy to the producers of essential commodities that have seen a steep increase in prices during the recent years,” says Manjula Srinivasan, a home maker here.

More farmer shandies should be encouraged. The range of commodities distributed through public distribution outlets should be expanded. The salaried get increase in wages only once a year. But prices keep moving up many times in a year. The salaried are the worst hit because of price rise, she says.

Santha Kumar, who works in the winding division at a textile mill here, says that the State Government failed to ensure wage increase for textile workers during the last five years. Petrol and LPG prices have shot up, essential commodities cost more and house rents have shot up. “I earn about Rs. 9,800 a month. How do I pay the house rent and current bill, buy food and basic home needs, and educate my two children with this amount? ,” he says.

At her election campaign at Srirangam, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam General Secretary Jayalalithaa said price rise was among the many problems faced by the public during the last five years. Speaking at Kuzuthurai during his election campaign, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said the United Progressive Alliance government not only failed to control the rise in prices of essential commodities but also institutionalised corruption throughout the country.

People are concerned about rising price of essential commodities, he said in Coimbatore. It is not just households that are hit by the price rise. Industries also face spiralling raw material prices. Cost of all inputs has gone up. Diesel and furnace oil prices have also increased.