Brig. K.G.Behl (Retd.)
President, All India Consumers Council, Uttarakhand
The prices of commodities needed for daily use have gone up enormously from the beginning to the end of the year 2017. Surprisingly there is no machinery to check and stop it and it has been left to the wish and will of the traders of those commodities and the consumers are being forced to pay through their nose. The major commodities which get effected in increase in rates are milk, bread, eggs, sugar and pulses leave aside wheat and rice. Similarly the rates of vegetables and fruits are going up without any check and prices are charged as per the rates fixed by those dealers.
If we compare the rates which were prevalent in the beginning of the year and the end of the year it will be noticed that there is vast difference between the prices. How those have gone up and who have increased those is not known because there is no Govt. machinery to fix rates of such articles and ensure that those rates are enforced. The public is being fleeced in this way without any explanation. Whatever rates are asked by the shopkeepers the consumers has to pay through his nose as there is no alternative to get cheaper things at other places. Wherever one goes the same increased rates are found and there is no way to get those at lesser rates. This applies to all day to day use articles and one finds it difficult to make the two ends meet.
It does not stop here as the articles sold are of substandard and adulterated and many a times time expired and cause upset in stomach and other parts of the body. It has been found that vegetables and fruits which have been ripened fast by giving injections cause such diseases and lose their taste as well. Similarly it has been observed that some of the medicines are not that efficacious as others probably those have not been given full potency by adding prober percentage of contents of medicines. As a result people are forced to take branded medicines which are very costly and in comparison to other generic medicines. Govt. must exercise full check and control on such medicines where those are supplied through Govt. agencies and depots.
The increase in rates of LPG gas and petrol / diesels are equally upsetting and lead to the increase in rates of other articles which make use of those specially the day to day use of fast moving consumer goods. It totally upsets the family budget. There should be some check somewhere by the Govt. so that people are not unnecessarily penalized and put to trouble. It is specially so in the quality of food articles being supplied through fair price shops to people where it has been complaint that the stuff is at times not even fit for consumption.