THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government on Monday admitted that the prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed in the state in the last four years’ of UDF rule. Right from groceries, rice, milk and vegetables the price graph has shown a steep increase of up to 50 pc.
During the four-year period from 2011 to 2015, there was a steep increase in the prices of essential commodities in Kerala, Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob told the Assembly. While the price of milk has gone up by more than 50 per cent, vegetable price shot up to 21 per cent, he said.
The price of rice also saw 17 to 32 per cent increase while coconut oil became dearer by 50 to 70 per cent. Prices of groceries also went up by 50 per cent, he said and added that sugar price came down during this period.
Once the prices of essential commodities increased, there was a steep hike in the prices of food items in hotels too which had seen a rise of about 65 per cent, the minister said.
Even while admitting to a steep hike in prices of essential commodities, Anoop Jacob said the price hike was primarily due to the scarcity of essential items in the neighbouring states from where these are being brought to Kerala. Crop loss and increase in tax have also contributed substantially to price rise.
The government has been taking all possible measures to control price rise, he said. The government was for strengthening the public distribution system.
The functioning of the Civil Supplies Department will be streamlined, he said. “During the LDF rule, the prices of certain items had gone up by 80 pc. This government could arrest the price through effective market intervention,” he said.