<p>Any festivity in J&K state is observed by at least three local phenomena – first, the official visits of few officers to see if everything is being taken care of which essentially means to have a cursory look at supplies, stock and services f
Post by on Sunday, July 19, 2020
Any festivity in J&K state is observed by at least three local phenomena – first, the official visits of few officers to see if everything is being taken care of which essentially means to have a cursory look at supplies, stock and services for which government is directly or indirectly responsible. This is the prep phase and as an official exercise is meticulously carried out. The second is the inflation spike with almost every commodity becoming pricier in the entire festive time – fruits, vegetables, mutton, poultry and even non-eatables. The third phenomenon, again official, is the formality in the name of regulating sudden price hike and inflation by the market checking squads wherein few vendors are penalized. Reports also suggest that the prices are regulated by the abundant supply of edibles like fruits and vegetables. Despite the claim made, arbitrary prices fixed by the vendors who are fleecing consumers has become the order of the day. It has been estimated in the past that prices of edibles increase by 20-60 percent. The small-time inflation has a lasting effect on the state economy which is already in a bad shape. The government believes the relevant department, food supplies, has all it takes to curb the ill practice by the felonious vendors. Throughout the year, approved rate lists by government are issued which are supposed to be religiously followed by the vendors. But the disregard shown to it by a large number of vendors is proof of its defeating purpose. The next thing on which some hope is pinned by the helpless consumer is raids by market checking squads, who mostly remain invisible than vigilant. One of the demands made by consumers on the issue of arbitrary price hikes is increasing the frequency of the raids. However, it is questionable as how the administration has been proceeding on the issue. With a small staff at disposal, like it is for ensuring food safety and hygiene in the state, there is not much that can be expected from the government. Therefore there is a need to increase the work force who can act as eyes and ears of the administration in general and the department in particular and keep the erring vendors and traders in check. Penalizing few vendors while touring the precincts is not going to help the consumers least the state economy. A robust mechanism to fight the illicit trade and practice in the state needs to be worked out.