Poor consumers

There were lot of noise and protests by the consumers when the prices of all cereals hit the sky and particularly the price of Arhar dal touched over Rs 200 per Kg. The twin reasons for the shoot-up were crop failure and hoarding by the traders. Both Centre and state moved in the matter with raiding hoarders while the Centre woke up late. News in the newspapers was the extent of hoarding unearthed with the traders protesting. It was promised that hoarders would be punished. One felt when lakh of tonnes of hoarded cereals were released, the consumers would benefit. Of course, majority of middle class without ration card were either forced to switch on other cheaper alternatives or forego using cereals because in sympathetic move with the price of Arhar, every other cereal was ruling high and it was traumatic for the families. We were assured by the government that when new crops come the price would come down but so far nothing has happened. Now Arhar is sold at Rs 160/Kg. This only implies that government has no intention to punish hoarders and consumers will continue to suffer.

H R Bapu Satyanarayana, Saraswathipuram

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