Cassian Baliarsingh

A steep hike in the prices of essential commodities like rice, dal, edible oil, wheat, flour, and many more grocery items has returned to burn a hole in the pockets of lower middle-income groups and economically weaker families.

The price of rice has increased by Rs 400 per quintal in the last 15 days. While rice was available for Rs 31/kg, it has been increased to Rs 35 now.  Similarly, the price of edible mustard oil has gone up by Rs 12-15 and has now touched Rs 135/litre.

In the last three months, dal price has seen an increase by Rs 40 per kilo and has touched Rs 170. Adding to the woes, the price of wheat, flour, and ‘suji’ has also increased by Rs 4-5 in the last 10-15 days. The spiraling prices of essential commodities have put an additional burden on families whose lives are already under difficulty due to the hike in fuel prices.

The harsh reality is that the poor have already driven many food items off their menu due to the price hike. The price hike of basic necessities has also severely affected the household budget of almost every family from across societies, with the common man finding it hard to manage their day-to-day affairs.

“The price of all the basic needs like rice, dal, and edible oil is skyrocketing. How can we, as common people, afford it if the prices continue to rise? This is severely affecting our budget,” a homemaker Sabita Rout said.

Similarly, another common man Laxmidhar Paikray said, “Mustard oil was available for Rs 128, but now they are demanding Rs 140. There is one rate in the morning and by evening there is a sudden rise.”

“Customers are getting angry with us if we increase the food price. But, what can we do when there is a rise in the price of essential commodities,” said Ghanshyam Jena, an eatery owner.

Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha has attributed the sudden price increase to low production and ‘mismanagement’ by corporate giants.

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