Rising prices of essential items, lower purchasing power hit customers, shopkeepers

·2-min read
A visual from RK Puram's Sector 12 market area (ANI).
A visual from RK Puram's Sector 12 market area (ANI).

By Shafali Nigam

New Delhi [India], June 9 (ANI): The rising prices of essential items, such as edible oils and pulses, and the reduced purchasing power due to the lockdown have affected both consumers and shopkeepers in Delhi.

DS Bindra, a retail shopkeeper in Delhi's RK Puram area, told ANI: "The prices of spices, pulses increased during the lockdown. There is a surge in the prices of oil as well. Prices of Oil have been increased by Rs 60 to 70 per litre. The oil which earlier cost Rs 100 rupees is now costing Rs 170. Customers are also questioning the sudden rise in prices. The items are coming costly from the wholesale market. Cartage is also being charged high as the prices of petrol and diesel have been increased as well.

"Another reason for the increase in prices is the decreased supply of goods. The purchasing power of the customer has also come down by 50 per cent," Bindra added.

Gaurav Gupta, vice president of Delhi Grain Merchant Association, told ANI over a phone call that the increase in prices of pulses is on the retail level, not on the wholesale level.

"The prices of grains on the wholesale level are less in comparison to the last year. We need to check on how to curtail the prices at the retail level. Earlier people used to buy products from the market, but now they are buying the products online. So, we note those prices which are shown online are high," Gupta said.

When asked about the claim of the shopkeeper that the prices of pulses have been increased from wholesale level, he said: "The wholesale index depends on the prices given by the farmers. When farmers' material is not being sold or being sold below the Minimum Support Price (MSP), how, then, the prices of products in the wholesale market will increase. We need to be aware of the cost of the raw material. If there is an increase in the price of raw material then the finish cost will also be increased."

Gupta added that, at present, the rate of the raw material is below the MSP and the retailers are taking big margins and that is why there is an inflation.

He added that the government needs to make a steady, reliable and long term policy. "We need to take care of farmers as well as consumers. There is a need for a consistent policy on imports too. Equal participation is a must for the smooth functioning of government policies," Gupta explained.

Manoj Kumar, a customer, said the shopkeepers can not do anything about the inflation and claimed that they have cut down on their expenses.

"We can not afford to buy products. Before lockdown, things were fine and there was no difficulty. We have faced many issues because of the lockdown as the prices of products increased and there was no source of income," Manoj said. (ANI)

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