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Common man rejoicing at lower prices

delhi Updated: Dec 31, 2008 14:02 IST

PTI
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The pinnacle of a market economy is when the consumer feels like king. Never before have Indians had such a vast choice and for the icing on the cake, prices from kitchen goods to cars started falling in 2008.

This sense of euphoria, however, became a reality only toward the end of 2008, the early part of which the common man spent trying hard to budget for basic needs in the face of burgeoning inflation that hit a 13 year high in August.

For most part of the year, vegetable and fruit prices were punishingly high, bank loans were prohibitively priced, dreams of buying a house remained just that dreams and exotic outings elusive.

The new year, however, brings them promise of changing all this, with bankers and economists predicting rate of price rise going to as low as 2 per cent by fiscal 2008-09, amid the possibility of inflation diving into negative zone thereafter.

While the common man was indeed hit hard by inflation, which was about 3-4 per cent at the beginning of 2008 and rose to a high of 12.91 per cent in August, the ruling UPA too was restive about high prices as it went to elections in states while preparing for Lok Sabha polls.

The government, which was riding high on the fourth succesive nine per cent plus growth in as many years in power, was virtually at the end of its wits to control what it called "imported inflation" caused by skyrocketing prices of crude and commodity, the two things that impact the "aam admi" the most.

Prices became a major political issue and the global financial crises proved to be a blessing in disguise in curbing the 'menace' of inflation as international crude and agriculture and other commodities dived substantially.

The pinnacle of a market economy is when the consumer feels like king. Never before have Indians had such a vast choice and for the icing on the cake, prices from kitchen goods to cars started falling in 2008.

This sense of euphoria, however, became a reality only toward the end of 2008, the early part of which the common man spent trying hard to budget for basic needs in the face of burgeoning inflation that hit a 13 year high in August.

For most part of the year, vegetable and fruit prices were punishingly high, bank loans were prohibitively priced, dreams of buying a house remained just that dreams and exotic outings elusive.

The new year, however, brings them promise of changing all this, with bankers and economists predicting rate of price rise going to as low as 2 per cent by fiscal 2008-09, amid the possibility of inflation diving into negative zone thereafter.

While the common man was indeed hit hard by inflation, which was about 3-4 per cent at the beginning of 2008 and rose to a high of 12.91 per cent in August, the ruling UPA too was restive about high prices as it went to elections in states while preparing for Lok Sabha polls.

The government, which was riding high on the fourth succesive nine per cent plus growth in as many years in power, was virtually at the end of its wits to control what it called "imported inflation" caused by skyrocketing prices of crude and commodity, the two things that impact the "aam admi" the most.

Prices became a major political issue and the global financial crises proved to be a blessing in disguise in curbing the 'menace' of inflation as international crude and agriculture and other commodities dived substantially.