SILCHAR, July 30: The rising prices of essential commodities have shown abnormal trend, hitting hard the life of common people. A section of unscrupulous businessmen and traders citing the enhancing price index of the country as a whole have become active to make high profits. The consumers are made to cough up money as the market of vegetables, fruits and other essential commodities is controlled and dictated by hoarders and stockiest.
A study of the markets of this town has indicated high prices of almost all essential commodities. Consumers are being made to pay more than the desired price for commodities. Stockiest of vegetables have justified the abnormal rise in the price of onion and other food items as being a tiol phenomenon. They also attributed to the disruption of communication due to floods in Assam and other states.
The way prices of essential commodities continue to rise indicate how the syndicate of black-marketers and hoarders rules the roost without caring for the interests of the people. The administration seems to have been ineffective to control the price rise. Along with that, the everyday items of food have shown steady rising trend. Mung dal sells between Rs.120 and Rs.130, masur dal ranges from Rs.118 to Rs.125 a kg. Potato price is steady at Rs.40 a kg. Quite surprisingly, after a visit of the market, a consumer comes across different prices of commodities in different markets as if there is no authority to monitor or regulate. The Food and Civil Supply Department of Cachar has become a mute spectator. It is also surprising that even after the fixing of prices of potato and onion to be sold by ‘aamar dokan’, the consumers are deprived of them.
In fact, there is no respite from the escalation of prices. Mustard oil (Engine) sells Rs.125 a litre, attah (open) Rs.27 a kg, maida Rs.28 a kg, sugar Rs.43, suji Rs.40 a kg. In the same way, the prices of vegetables continue to be on the rise. Potato sells at Rs.30 a kg, brinjal Rs.40 a kg, tomato Rs.60 a kg, carrot Rs.60 a kg, patal Rs.40 a kg, kakrul Rs.60 a kg, jhinga Rs.40 a kg. Even the prices of fruits show no sign of decline. Mango, chausa variety, sells at Rs.100 a kg, apple Rs.180 a kg, pomegrate (beda) Rs.200 a kg. The price of melon per kg is Rs.40.
Grahak Surakhsa Samiti (GSS) Cachar has demanded regular monitoring by competent authorities of the markets and the prices of commodities. According to Biplob Kumar Goswami, general secretary, GSS, has brought yet another serious allegation about how the fish vendors charge arbitrarily from the consumers. Besides, charging high prices for variety of fishes, they also take resort to less weight and cheat the consumers. They fish vendors use hand weighing machines which is totally illegal. It is mandatory for them to use beam scales for weighing the fish. In this connection, as stated by Biplob Kumar Goswami, his organization submitted a memorandum to the chairman of Silchar Municipal Board and the Deputy Commissioner drawing their attention to the matter and seeking effective measures to curb the malpractice. The attention of the legal metrology department was also drawn and requested to take suitable steps. But, no follow up action was taken. The chairman of Municipal Board was particularly impressed upon for regular monitoring of the markets and reigning in the black marketers and profiteers.