Staff Reporter

Making of Christmas cake becomes dearer

GUNTUR: For most people wishing to celebrate the advent into the festive season of Christmas and New Year, the rising food prices cast a dampener on the festive mood. With no signs of the prices coming down in the near future, families are beginning to cut down the expenses.

“The price rise will have a definite impact on the celebrations. We have to cut down the quantity of various delicacies and probably limit out budget to meet the bare minimum needs,” says Malleswari, a house wife in Chandramouli Nagar. For instance, the price of milk, egg and sugar, the essential ingredients in the making of Christmas cake and doughnut (small round cakes), have gone through the roof. Milk is being sold at Rs.25-30 per litre, sugar is being sold at Rs.37-40 per kg and a dozen eggs cost Rs.36.

The price of red gram in the open market hovers around Rs.63-Rs.70 depending on the quality, while it is being sold for Rs.54.55 at the special counters opened by the government.

The prices of rice too could have gone for a toss, but thanks to the ban on the inter-State transfer and the issue of permits by the State government, the prices of rice have remained steady. The BPT variety of rice is being sold for Rs.32-Rs.35 per kg, the other varieties of rice for Rs.34-Rs.37.

Vegetable rates

Edible oil prices have also increased substantially with an increase of 15 per cent. The prices of sun flower oil have increased by Rs.15-Rs.20. The prices of vegetables too have witnessed a steep rise. The prices of onion and tomato which witnessed a steep rise touching Rs.24 might slip down in the coming weeks once the local production starts arriving in the market.

When pointed to the rise in prices, Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal has told The Hindu that the Department of Civil Supplies and Marketing will explore the possibilities of market intervention in arresting the prices of milk, eggs and other food products. “We have 1,000 quintals of red gram as a buffer stock. We will also get supplies of onion from Kurnool where the prices are low,” says Dr. Uppal.