For harried consumers in the State, there seems to be little respite in store with food prices climbing inexorably. Sanity is yet to return to markets here with rail links to the rest country barely restored. It will take awhile for goods train services to be regular in the Northeast; meanwhile, hoarders and middlemen are having a field day with the festive season round the corner. Vegetable prices across Assam remain high, with flood damage being trotted out as excuse. Elsewhere in the country, high food prices have pushed the consumer price index to a 5-month high of 3.36 percent in August, fully 1 percent higher than in July. Heavy rains have hit food production in several key States, while rising fuel prices have raised transportation prices, thereby impacting food prices as well. Before rabi crops come to the market, the administration in Assam will have to remain vigilant against unscrupulous traders and illegal syndicates joining hands to fleece consumers.
Rising food prices