Other States

Rise in prices of essential commodities hits people in Manipur

No action has been taken against any trader or grocery shop owner

Manipur, which has seen seven COVID-19 cases, is reeling under untrammelled price hike, with no trader or grocery shop owner being pulled up. Officials said that all the seven persons had contracted the disease outside the State. Two have completely recovered, while the remaining are in “good physical condition”.

In the wake of the pandemic, the State government had asked the Price Fixation Committee to fix the prices of the consumer items. The committee had promptly done it, but it has not had the desired impact since traders are ignoring the new prices. The government has promised suitable action if consumers bring overpricing to the notice of the officials.

L. Dhiren, a consumer, said, “There is no ground for the price hike. The trucks, the only means of transportation of all kinds of goods, are bringing the same rather regularly. There is little time for the consumers since curfew and lockdown are in effect”.

Several shop keepers say that some of the transporters are charging more, saying drivers and truck owners are demanding more in view of the abnormal situation. Umabati, a shop owner near Imphal city, said that mosquito coil smuggled from Myanmar used to cost ₹30 a packet. But today she is selling it at ₹100 simply because enough packets are not coming, as the international border is sealed and police and Assam Rifles personnel are patrolling the border to check all human movements.

One plate of 30 eggs brought from the southern States used to cost ₹160 in Imphal. Today, it is sold at ₹200. One kg of chicken was available at ₹150 but recently hiked to ₹350. Prices of popular items like fish, potato, onion, sugar, lentils and others were hiked beyond the reach of the common people. Several consumers say that it is an unbearable burden as daily bread winners and employees of private companies have been unable to earn anything for months. The high-nutrition Manipur rice is sold at ₹55 a kg.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren said that, taking into consideration the plight of the people, the government was distributing rice free of cost. Besides, people from the mountains are bringing truckloads of organic vegetables for free distribution to the valley dwellers. However, Chief Secretary J. Suresh Babu said on Sunday that all these vegetables should be deposited to the food bank and donors were not allowed to directly hand over the same to beneficiaries.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 3:11:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rise-in-prices-of-essential-commodities-hits-people-in-manipur/article31612306.ece

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