The Issue of Price Rise in India: From a Common Man’s Perspective
Rama Lingam | 03 Apr 2008

Recently, while reading an article about the elections in Zimbabwe, I learnt that the people under the Robert Mugabe Government were experiencing an inflation rate of 100,000 % and also saw the picture of a retail vegetable seller, carrying basketful of bundles of currency notes in a can basket on his head after selling his small quantity of vegetables and one can very well imagine the exorbitant price of the very small quantity of the vegetables that he had sold and still walking a forlorn man, despite of having basketful of currency bundles.

I shudder to think of experiencing the same kind of inflation in India which is not so far away but in the very near future, if the present trend of price rise of all essential commodities and other items are not controlled effectively and something drastically done by the government to put them under check.

No doubt both the railway budget and the finance budget submitted by the Railway Minister and the Finance Minister respectively are populous and in particular with regard to Railways, it is a  Rs 25,000 Crores surplus budget and we feel a little bit of solace and relieved when some ticket fares are even marginally reduced. The Indian Government is reportedly said to have taken a slew of initiatives to reduce inflation, mostly on the food front. But these steps are only fire-fighting measures, when the fire has broken out in a house on a large scale. But the inflation is soaring very high at the dangerous and unacceptable level when we consider the consumer price index. The current inflation rate is 6.68.

 The Agriculture Ministry has paid huge inflated price for the import of wheat which was a poor and substandard quality and inedible. At the same time Indian Government cannot pay the Indians farmers adequately for their quality wheat Even at the food front the steps taken by the government have not yielded fruitful results. One such measure was to cut import duty of maize from 15 % to 0 % and it was no way useful. Due to the Government’s failure to ban forward trading in maize, the price of maize has increased from Rs 5.50 to Rs 8.50-9, in the last three years. Similarly Soya meal has increased from Rs 7-8 per kg to Rs 17 per kg. The rise in the price of maze, which is the staple food for the egg-laying hens in turn has increased the price of eggs which would go up upto Rs 3/- per egg or even more. I wonder what would be the cost of an amlet in a hotel or other NV items in the near future. Recently, the price of milk, a common man’s complete food has been hiked.,on some pretext. Similarly the price rise of vegetables and the groceries are injecting slow poison in the life of an average Indian and he may get suffocated very soon.

  Similarly, prices of petrol and diesel is increased time and again, showing an accusing finger on OPEC and the increase in the price of an oil barrel. India’s Finance Minister also conveniently says that inflation is exported to India. But Air-Tickets to cost more on the pretext of hike in the fuel surcharge due to the rise in aviation turbine fuel prices. As usual a common man can only see an aeroplane in the sky

Of late, the cost of building materials have escalated heavily, which results in the sky rocketing of real estate business and the common man cannot even imagine of purchasing a flat, or a plot in a decent city or town.

  The price rise in all fronts or the rise of inflation in a way further widens the gulf between the haves and have-nots and the inequality will become more prominent and conspicuous.

I pray for a political party with a dynamic leader at the helm of affairs who can understand the woes of a common man and redeem him from all his difficulties. But a common man has the privilege atleast to dream.