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Pricey Ramadan
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Pricey Ramadan

Post by on Monday, April 18, 2022

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Soaring prices of essential commodities is a serious concern. According to numerous newspaper reports, the cost of basic commodities has risen sharply during this Ramadan. These reports maintained that prices of vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken and other items were up by 20 to 60 percent than what the government has approved. Some complaints about profiteering have also been registered in Srinagar city. The word that goes in most small and big market places in Kashmir is the rising price, despite authorities staking out the claim that all is well. Be it a small fete or the most celebrated festival in the valley, sudden price rise and that too to serve the whims of sellers has become a regular practice in the valley. While customers can and they do raise voice but it is the department to handle consumer affairs that has to conjure some spirit to address the public inconvenience. Arbitrarily increasing prices of commodities for profit is neither good to customers nor to the economy of any state. The government, which understands the financial conditions the valley is lodged in, must at least ensure that there is a strict check on inflation. Although this swerve in prices is for short period, still there must be a proactive role of the government in general and the concerned department in particular. Inflation is not the indicators of good governance. When governments fail to regulate markets and therefore prices of essential as well as non-essential commodities, it exacerbates the already present inflation level. Every year as if by some accepted protocol, the government and FCS&CA officials make those cursory visits around festival time to see that all is in order. Now there are doubts on claims made on even these few celebrity occasions, as is the case we find at present. What seems obvious is that sellers are least bothered about any market check or raid. The message of caution that government officials transport may and does reach the sellers. However, its seriousness appears as having been dropped significantly by soft dealing. At this point the government and particularly the department on which is fixed the responsibility to manage consumer affairs must pull themselves up and square off the argument. If the government can’t make a seller abide by the law there is a good reason to believe that it can’t make other laws be respected. It is the responsibility of the government and the Department of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) to take necessary measures to check price rise and strengthen the public distribution system.

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