Elevated prices of essential commodities have hit consumers especially the poor and lower middle class in a tight spot. The dire situation can be clearly ascertained from the retail inflation in the country which touched a five-month high of 7.41 per cent in September 2022.
Notably, the retail inflation in September 2021 was 4.3 even though the country’s economy took a battering from Covid pandemic.
As per government data, the retail inflation in 'cereals and products', 'milk and products', vegetables, 'pulses and products' and spices were higher at 11.53 per cent, 7.13 per cent, 18.05 per cent and 3.05 per cent and 16.88 per cent respectively.
Consumers meanwhile rue that despite rising costs of commodities, there has been no significant hike in salary and income levels which has severely hit the purchasing power.
Prafulla Kumar Das, a local resident of Bhubaneswar said, people are forced to compromise with their lifestyle due to skyrocketing rise in prices of essential commodities.
Sudhakar Panda, General Secretary of Traders’ Association said capricious play by corporates in the retail sector has a huge role in driving the prices up. This apart, the government also seems less bothered by the misery of the common man.
Meanwhile, traders association has lashed out at government for showing apathy towards the situation. The traders have also blamed the erratic play by the multinational companies in the retail sector.
On the other hand, a war of words have erupted between the Odisha government and the BJP which is at the Centre.
State Food Supplies Department minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said that the government is taking all possible steps to put a leash on unscrupulous traders. The minister has called upon the Central government to take immediate steps to control the inflation.
Responding to the statements, the BJP has said that in a federal system of governance, the state also has its responsibility to control the inflation. It is the responsibility of the Centre to control the oil prices, but the onus on managing the rates of commodities like vegetables depends on state government.