The inflation graph might have taken its sharpest dive in months but Capital’s homemakers, who have been fighting the dual attack of inflation and recession in economy for the past one year, said it was too little too late.
“Even if price rise was in check all this while, we hardly noticed because things haven’t become significantly cheaper,” said Anu Aggarwal, a housewife. This mother of a two-year-old and wife of a hardware engineer has been cutting down on expenses to save the family from increased prices and low investment returns.
Some treated the news with much skepticism. “It is an eyewash. Inflation has already taken the prices to such a high that it would take a much more significant fall in the MRPs for the common man to benefit,” said Rajiv Sethi, an engineer who lives in Defence Colony.
But a close look at prices of essential items across Delhi’s markets revealed prices indeed have come down in the past few months, even as politicians raved and ranted about inflation during the recent elections.
A variety of pulses, rice, dairy products, and cooking oil (which led the charge in FMCG products’ upward march in prices in April) had either come down or have stabilised in the past eight months.
Vegetables like tomato and onions, which have the knack of turning into political issues, have become cheaper than it was in the middle of the year. “Prices increased because of untimely rainfall which destroyed crops across the country. Now the prices have stabilised,” said Raj Kumar Bhatia, secretary of Agriculture Produce Markets Committee, Azadpur Mandi.
“Even if you compare with prices last month, you will find that price of grocery items have decreased. Price of soya oil, some pulses, etc., have had a significant fall. And the market is responding favourably,” said Dinesh Kumar Mishra, Assistant General Manager (Grocery) at Kendriya Bhandar, a chain of government-controlled stores.
The only cut in price that people have made a quick impact is in petrol and diesel. “They should have done this long ago. Even a kid knows that if you reduce prices of petrol and diesel, then input costs of all goods come down,” said Amit Aggarwal, a hardware engineer, who was shopping in Defence Colony.
So in this long-drawn battle with the rising price-chart, the common man is yet to have the last laugh.