Post festival season and elections, looks like it is all set to leave a bitter taste for the common people with prices of several commodities, especially sugar, skyrocketing. Sugar prices in the city have been surging for several weeks now. Exacerbated by global cues, it seems to have gone completely out of the government’s control. In Navi Mumbai, the retail rate of sugar is close to Rs 40 a kg. Sugar has a strong weightage in the consumer price index. Worse, the situation is compounded by rising prices of other essential food items such as pulses, rice and edible oil. Exploding sugar prices have even turned politically sensitive after the state assembly elections. There were allegations that Sharad Pawar, the agriculture minister, who hails from Maharashtra which is a major producer of sugar, wanted the sugar prices to go up so that sugar-cane farmers in his state will be happy, so that his party could reap rich dividends in Maharashtra in the elections. Also, most of the sugarcane factories of the state belong to political leaders of the NCP party. Hence, it is being said that Pawar with his strategy of increasing sugar prices managed to keep his state farmers as well as the factory owners happy. A trader voiced that sugar prices have increased by Rs 7 to 8 per kg and that post elections, even higher rise is seen with the cost increasing by rupee 1 per day. He alleged that during the time of elections, the price hike was kept constant and now that it is over, the sugar prices are left in the open reaching sky high. He added that only the government would be able to give an exact percentage of productions and it strategy to control the price hike. It is being said that prices are likely to increase rather than decrease. While food agriculture ministry has always claimed that the godowns are fully stocked with wheat and rice, the prices of these two commodities are still increasing. In the end looks like it is only the consumer that has to face the brunt of these price hikes. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.
January 13, 2010
February 13, 2016