Indore: Prices of grocery and edible items have increased by at least 20 to 25 per cent during the lockdown period, which is pinching not only the poor but also the middle class.
The wholesale prices of atta, rice, dal, sugar, oil, ghee and masalas have increased due to problems of logistics, but by the time these items reach the shops in colonies, they become exorbitant.
Ramkishan Agrawal, who runs Agrawal Kirana Bhandar situated on the main Patnipura road said, “Most of the main markets are closed. Even in Siyaganj, only a few wholesalers are operating and we are purchasing goods at an already increased rate from them, and we sell it to other small grocery shop owners, so it is natural that the consumer will get things at a much higher price when compared to prices before the lockdown.” Agrawal pointed out that opening his shop is a major problem and he has to sell goods in the sly.
A grocery shop owner in Juni Indore, Chotelal Gupta, said that before the lockdown he used to sell tuar dal at Rs 70-75 per kg, and now he is selling it at Rs 100-105 per kg, ghee used to sell between Rs 450-480 per kg and now it is selling at Rs 550-600 per kg. The price of atta and rice has also increased.
Ashok Sharma, who runs Ashok Kirana at Pardeshipura said that prices of maida, rawa, besan, oil have increased because there is excessive demand for these products as only a few shops are open which are supplying them. On top of that, these can’t be sold openly, and shopkeepers have to pay off the local policemen. All these things are included in the price.
But Shankar Yadav, resident of 1615\18, is feeling the pinch. “I have a pension of Rs 17,000 a month. Earlier, this used to suffice, but now it is becoming difficult to make ends meet.”
For the consumer, another problem is procuring grocery items. Ishwar Chand Bhargava, resident of Agrawal Nagar said,” I have to wander here and there to get grocery items. The price of everything is increased, and there is no guarantee about the quality of the products you are getting. The IMC does provide essentially, but you need many more things for the kitchen.”
IMC additional commissioner, Devendra Singh, who is looking after distribution of grocery items said, “We are providing atta, dal, rice, sugar, salt, oil and few other items at a reasonable price, but we cannot supply everything. People who want those things have to buy it from the open market.”