KOCHI: The household budget of the people of the state still hangs precariously due to the increase in the price of many essential commodities, especially pulses, even after the government’s intervention.
The rapid rise in the prices of pulses, over a period of one month, has shattered the fragile balance of the ‘kitchen budget’ burning a hole in the common man’s wallet. With the price of the pulses skyrocketing, people in the city have been forced to cut short their intake fearing a total collapse of their monthly budget. The pulses that used to cost around `110 are now priced at `180. There has been a two to three fold hike in the past two months. One kilogram of black gram that was priced `120, is now being sold at `180. The prices of toor and moong dal, which were rated at `110 and `105 respectively has risen to a high of `175 and `135, respectively.
The rates differ from one place to the other considering storage, loading, unloading and transport charges. “The prices of pulses have not come down even after the so called intervention on the part of Government. Consumers have cut short the quantity that they purchase since they are incapable of affording the recent rates,” said Siraj V A, a merchant at Jews Street here. Though the rate of menu items in the hotels have only increased slightly, they too express fear over the swell in the price. The quality of goods available in the market has gone down, though the price still hovers in the nether zone. “We are also affected by the increase in price of a variety of pulses, which make up most of the breakfast menu. We are forced to balance the problem by adjusting with other items on the menu list since a price increase from our side will only cause extra burden to the public,” said K Rajan, manager of a hotel at Menaka.
“Government’s actions in this issue is not sufficient. There is a hidden agenda behind this price which is being engineered by the corporates and they are beyond the control of the government,” said Raheem M A, a hotel caretaker at Broadway here.