Kitchen going out of mom?s hand!

WELL, IT?S true! If prices kept rocketing at the current pace, moms would get out of the kitchen and demand a 50 per cent hike in the kitchen budget to be able to serve a full dish of dal-chawal-roti-sabji.If there is no upward revision, then the moms would have to go on an austerity drive and trim the daily household diet by half.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 00:47 IST

WELL, IT’S true! If prices kept rocketing at the current pace, moms would get out of the kitchen and demand a 50 per cent hike in the kitchen budget to be able to serve a full dish of dal-chawal-roti-sabji.

If there is no upward revision, then the moms would have to go on an austerity drive and trim the daily household diet by half.

In a nutshell, the rocketing prices are not only turning the kitchen costlier, but also upsetting the household harmony in many ways than a middle-class officegoer can think of.

Atta gets stickier at Rs 12 per kg, light moong dal heavier at Rs 58 a kg, tasty arhar hard-to-digest at Rs 34 a kg, rice (Bansmati) harder at Rs 20 per kg and sugar is tasting bitter at Rs 21 a kg. There has been about 15 per cent hike in the prices of edible items during last three months.

Does it mean the household must switch to fruits? But, they too have registered a hike of 18-to-20 per cent. Bananas are no longer Rs 10-11 a dozen, they are selling at Rs 16-18 for the lot. Apples have gone up by a flat Rs 15 and grapes turned sour at Rs 35 per kg.

“Yes! We have already cut down on daily consumption by 30 per cent to adjust the 15 per cent hike in commodity prices. But, how long can this be sustained? After all you need food to stay alive,” says Sudha Sharma of Gomti Nagar.

“See! This is politics. We need a proper price watchdog to hold the price horse down. Hitting the kitchen is like hitting the household below the belt,” says Renu Agarwal, a housewife. Ankita Agnihotri says, “When kitchen is hit, the household is hurt. When the household is hurt, everybody is hurt. Therefore, govt should immediately take steps to bring kitchen back in the housewife’s hold.”

“We are not happy to sell these items at increased rates, as our margin remains the same, but we have to invest more money in procuring the same amount of stock,” says Deepak Singhal, a wholesale trader at Pandeyganj.

The traders blamed online betting for the recent price hike. “The online punters in the market have started affecting the rates of essential commodities of kitchen. Secondly, the rates of transportation have gone up in last three months. Besides that some bigwigs enjoying political patronage are hoarding the stock for better returns on the sly.”

A punter in the Pandeyganj wholesale market says, “Political heavyweights are responsible for the recent spurt in the prices of essential commodities like flour, cereals and rice. As they are the biggest hoarders and online betting is based upon the holding capacity of big farmers, who are mostly politicians and their trusted lieutenants or big influential persons who purchase all the stocks of small farmers in the village.”

First Published: Apr 25, 2006 00:47 IST