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Soaring Food Prices

It is astonishing to find that the despite a decrease in the consumer price index, prices of food items should have continued to soar again in Guwahati. There is no way of justifying the soaring food prices with the excuse of high fuel prices. During the last three or four weeks diesel prices have come down for the fourth time with the latest reduction being about two rupees per litre. Prices of essential commodities have come down significantly in the rest of India during the last two weeks. By contrast, the price of vegetables, fish, meat and poultry have started going up again after a brief reduction. Things are expected to get worse just before Magh Bihu. There are two obvious reasons for such anomaly in respect of inflatiory trends. One is the government’s complete failure to control prices. The Minister for Civil Supplies has, for years, proved himself to be completely incompetent in this regard. He is seen to be on the side of unscrupulous traders who have maintained high prices with periodic artificial shortages. But he is still in office. The other is the existence of syndicates backed by politicians and unscrupulous traders. And yet Chief Minister Tarun believes in a cakewalk victory for the Congress in the Assembly elections of 2016!

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Ankur Kalita

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