Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PRICE RISE The Most Important Issue For The Common Man

The Most Important Issue For The Common Man

While Scams, Political Slugfests and the Anti-Corruption Movement continue to hog the headlines, both on TV and in the print media, no one seems to be concerned about the huge price rise in the last few months. During the last one year the price of milk has almost doubled. Today in Pune a litre of milk costs Rs. 40 (which was unimaginable a few years ago). They quietly continue to raise the price of milk by a rupee or two every few days and no one seems to be bothered about it. Every single item of food required for daily living has gone up. Whether it is vegetables, fruits, medicines, transportation, in fact, all essential items for daily living, the unprecedented price rise seems to be irreversible – once the price goes up it never comes down. The price of petrol has also almost doubled during the last one year and though international crude prices have fallen petrol prices are not being reduced. Even an unpretentious cup of tea has reached double digit figures and it has become very costly to eat a simple meal in modest restaurants and roadside eateries.

It is sad that no one seems be doing anything to control inflation and stop the unprecedented price rise which is affecting every citizen of this country.   

Of course, a few things like Electronic Goods (Laptops, for example) have become cheaper, but then these are exceptions and are due to global trends as most of these items are imported. Some things like diesel and gas are subsidised. I wonder why they don’t subsidise milk and other essential commodities and food items.

And there is another curious thing I observe during my walks in Pune. Seeing the ever-increasing crowds in liquor shops and bars, it seems that booze has not been affected by this unprecedented price rise, maybe a peg of liquor is more affordable than a glass of milk, or maybe drowning one’s sorrows in drink is the best way to beat inflation by remaining oblivious about it. You get so drunk that you don’t feel hungry – of course, your health be dammed. The consumption of tobacco, smoking cigarettes and eating gutka, also continues to increase day by day. I feel it would be a good idea to introduce a special tax on these intoxicants, like liquor and tobacco, and use this amount to subsidise Milk – maybe you can call it “Milk Cess” so that every time you consume things detrimental to your health, like tobacco or alcohol, whenever you drink booze, you think of a glass of healthy Milk.   

Seriously, I hope they do something to contain, and reverse, this unprecedented price rise and alleviate the distress of the common citizen.

No comments: