Hyderabad: The Congress party on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the rising prices of vegetables and other essential commodities, especially Hyderabad.
Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement on Wednesday, said that the prices of vegetables, edible oil and other commodities have increased by more than 50% in the last year.
While the seasonal fluctuation in prices was a common phenomenon in the past, the fall in prices of many commodities was not so deep compared to their inclination. “The prices of many items have touched new records. For instance, no one would’ve ever imagined that one kilogram of onion would cost nearly Rs. 200.
This is insane and it exposes the failure of Telangana Government,” he said.
Sameer Waliullah said that it was the responsibility of the State Government to keep track of demand and supply position of all commodities, including vegetables.
He said that the government should’ve market intelligence or rough estimates of quantity of major vegetables and edible items likely to be supplied in markets in a particular month/season and accordingly decide on importing the product from other States in case of likely shortage.
However, he said instead of being ‘responsive’ and ‘responsible’, State Government was ‘reactionary’ in nature. The official reaction is so late that the damage is already done.
The Congress leader said that the prices of vegetables had gone up during the strike of RTC employees. Small farmers, who sell vegetables, in small quantity, were unable to commute and reach the market from far away village.
They were forced to travel in private vehicles and therefore, they sold their produces at higher prices to recover the transportation cost. However, he said the situation did not change even after the end of RTC strike as State Government increased the fare by 20 paisa per kilometre.
Sameer Waliullah said that the petrol prices in Hyderabad today is Rs. 79.81 per litre. This was Rs. 74.44 per litre on December 11, 2018. Therefore, despite fluctuations it has increased by Rs. 5.37 per litre. Similarly, the diesel prices have increased by Rs. 1.81 per litre from Rs. 70.26 on December 11, 2018 to Rs. 72.07 per litre today.
This has multiplier effect on almost all aspects of life. Consequently, the monthly expenditure of all poor and middle-class families has increased by almost 20-25% compared to last year while their incomes have remained the same. Thousands of people have also lost their jobs and livelihood due to the wrong economic policies of both Central and State Governments.
Therefore, the Congress leader urged the State Government to take immediate measures on war footing basis to bring down the prices of vegetables and other items. He said that the State Government could not wash off its hands by supplying onions at subsidised prices of Rs. 25 per kg.
It must realise that it was not possible for lakhs of families to buy onions even at Rs. 25 per kg. He said that the officials could create awareness among farmers and make arrangements that their produce is not lost/damaged in unseasonal rains.
State Government should make special arrangements for transportation of vegetable and other goods from farm/godowns to market to reduce the prices. He requested the government to explore for permanent solutions instead of giving temporary relief to common people. (INN)