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Prices storm upwards

india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 19:15 IST
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If you want to buy a Maruti 800, you have to pay Rs 2,500 more. Gold has now become more expensive. Drug prices for lifestyle diseases are expected to go up by 1.2-2.5 per cent. If you want to buy an air-conditioner, go for it right now. AC prices are expected to rise by 5-7 per cent.

Prices of household items and consumer goods have gone through the roof, driven by a sharp rise in input costs.  Inflation has cast its spell on products across the board.

Vivek Sharma, Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, Onida, said: “We intend to hike the prices of our ACs by 10 per cent because of rising input costs. This hike will be effective once our current stocks are sold.”He said consumers were willing to pay more because their disposable incomes were rising. But they are now feeling the heat of the worst inflationary spiral in recent times.

Gold prices have gone up by Rs 150 to Rs 9,250 for 10 gm in the last two quarters. Prices of vegetables, too, have risen. Lady’s finger went up from Rs 20 to Rs 24 per kg, while onion prices have increased by Rs 2 to Rs 12 per kg. Garlic have seen a big hike from Rs 50 per kg two months ago to Rs 80 per kg. Prices of cars and fast-moving consumer goods have also been rising.

“Over the last few months, there have been significant increases in the input costs of the company and operational costs of its dealers. The company has decided to pass on a part of this burden to its customers,” said a Maruti official. India’s largest passenger vehicles company has raised prices across the board twice in the last two quarters, including on small cars, Maruti 800 and Alto, by Rs 2,500 each in two stages.

Larger cars of most manufacturers have seen a steeper hike. The same is true for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The price spiral could be checked in April 2007, but not before that, said H.K. Press, executive director and president, Godrej Consumer Products Limited.

While stores chain Subhiksha said the percentage discount for customers remained same, HLL hiked the price of laundry brand Rin Advance and Surf Excel Blue by around 5 per cent. Lifebuoy and Pears prices went up by about 10 per cent. “Godrej hiked the prices of its soap brands by 4-6 per cent in October and powder hair dye brands by 12 per cent in December 2006,” Press said.